D-day veterans get call to join up for Normandy trip

MILITARY veterans are being invited to join a fully-funded trip to Normandy to mark 75 years since the Second World War’s D-Day landings.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 5:00 am
Denis Gregson will be among the veterans on the MV Boudicca

MV Boudicca will take 300 D-Day veterans from Dover to La Havre in Normandy, where allied troops landed on June 6th 1944.

The trip, funded by Legion Scotland, Poppyscotland and the Royal British Legion, will depart Dover on June 2nd and take the ex-servicemen to Dorset and Portsmouth for commemorative events and ceremonies before making the trip across the English Channel to La Havre in Normandy to attend sponsored events and memorials.

Now, the charities arranging the voyage are encouraging more ex-personnel who were involved in the D-Day landings to join them on all-expenses paid the trip, which has 125 places left of the original 300 it had available.

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Dr Claire Armstrong, the Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said: “We believe it’s important that all veterans who contributed to the liberation of France who want to attend the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Portsmouth and Normandy are able to do so.

“We are delighted at the response we have received so far, but we still have space for more veterans to join their comrades who shared in those challenging wartime experiences in 1944.

“Most importantly at this stage, we don’t want anyone who wishes to take part to be left behind.”

The Normandy landings was the largest scale sea invasion in history, with over 150,000 allied troops involved.

The invasion lead to the liberation of Nazi-occupied France and eventually laid the groundwork for the Allies’ victory the following year.

Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the operation.

D-Day veteran Denis Gregson, who will be on board MV Boudicca said: “I’m so proud to be going on the voyage with all my fellow veterans and it will give me a chance to meet my fellow veterans that l have not seen for 75 years.”

He continued: “Last year, I went to Normandy with The Royal British legion and it gave me a new lease of life. I think the 75th anniversary of D-Day will be a special occasion and I’m very proud to be part of the journey.”

Reaching out to veterans and family of veterans about the trip, Dr Armstrong said: “If you have a friend or family member who is a D-Day veteran – or, indeed, if you are one yourself – please get in touch with The Royal British Legion and find out how to be a part of this historic trip.”

Eligible ex-personnel can find an application on the British Legions’ website and must be returned by March 4. Expenses will also be paid for one guest or carer they wish to bring with them.