D-Day veteran Harry Billinge sits on GWR train named after him 071020 CREDIT Great Western Railway Twitter
Veterans

Harry Billinge: Train Named In D-Day Veteran's Honour

Horace "Harry" Billinge was one of the soldiers who landed on Gold Beach on 6 June 1944.

D-Day veteran Harry Billinge sits on GWR train named after him 071020 CREDIT Great Western Railway Twitter

A D-Day veteran who was one of the first British soldiers to land on Gold Beach has had a train named in his honour.

Former Royal Engineer Horace "Harry" Billinge was just 18 when he stormed the beaches in German-occupied Normandy during the landings on 6 June 1944.

His name has been placed on a Great Western Railway Intercity Express train and was unveiled at a ceremony in the Cornish town of Penzance this morning.

The sapper from St Austell, Cornwall, was awarded an MBE last year for charitable fundraising after collecting more than £50,000 for veterans.

Great Western Railway has dedicated six trains to "remarkable individuals" involved in the Second World War this year, 75 years after its conclusion.

Others to be honoured include Sir Winston Churchill and Alan Turing.

D-Day Veteran Harry Billinge sees GWR train named after him 071020 CREDIT Great Western Railway Twitter
Horace "Harry" Billinge had a train named in his honour (Picture: Twitter/Great Western Railway).

Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in May 1940, overseeing the British involvement in the Second World War as the United Kingdom and the Allied forces joined efforts against the Axis powers.

He officially announced the end of the Second World War at 15:00 on 8 May, 1945.

Taking to the airwaves, he announced to the people of Britain that Nazi Germany had surrendered to the Allied forces and he declared the historic moment as Victory in Europe Day, which was later to become VE Day.

Code-breaker Alan Turing also features on one of the Great Western Railway trains commemorating remarkable individuals of the Second World War.

Based at Bletchley Park, Mr Turing and his team managed to decipher the Enigma machine codes used by the Germans since 1924 and, as a result, helped shorten the war in Europe.

Turing was homosexual and was posthumously pardoned by the Queen, having been convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man.

In 2019, the Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, announced the mathematician had been selected as the next person to be featured on the £50 note.

Cover image: D-Day veteran Harry Billinge sits on the train named in his honour (Picture: Twitter/Great Western Railway).