D-Day heroes return to France 70 years on

Daily Echo: Denys Hunter Denys Hunter

SEVENTY years ago they fought for our freedom.

Now members of the New Forest Normandy Veterans Association have returned to France alongside comrades from across the country to pay tribute to fallen heroes.

They have enjoyed a warm welcome upon their return ahead of todays commemoration events, including being serenaded by children in French villages.

George Batts, national secretary of the Normandy Veterans' Association, said: ''We thank the villagers for the wonderful way that they have looked after our comrades.''

Denys Hunter is one Hampshire veteran who has returned to meet old friends and remember the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for the cause.

The 90-year-old, who lives in North Baddesley, was part of the attack on Gold Beach and had a lucky escape when a bullet went through his uniform but did not hit him.

He said: “It's just luck really, you never know what could happen to you. I lost friends in the war when it could have been me.

“We just carried on. We could not sit and moan about it.”

Mr Hunter, who was in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry, added: “There was quite a lot of resistance, it was a blur. We had to just get across the beach to find cover. All I could think about was getting across while bullets whizzed over my head.”

Veterans will today attend a service of remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetary in Bayeux, Normandy, that will be attended by Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The NVA is then hosting another event from 5pm-7pm at Arromanches-les-Bains, at Gold Beach where the British concentrated their attack on D-Day.

But it will be an even more poignant day for the ex-soldiers, as the NVA is to officially disband across the country by November due to dwindling membership.

Meanwhile Hampshire County Council leader Roy Perry has also travelled to France as the guest of the Laurent Beauvais, president of the Lower Normandy Regional Council.

Cllr Perry and his wife Veronica will attend an international ceremony at Ouistreham at Sword Beach, which was invaded by a mix of British and Free French forces.

He said: “My father fought in France in the Battle for France, although not at D Day, and he always told me he was the last British soldier to arrive in France and he never saw a German soldier but this ceremony will bring home to me the danger those young soldiers faced back in 1944.

“My grandfather was killed in the World War One, my wife's father was killed in World War Two and so it is not until three generations later, the generation of my grandchildren, that they have known both grandfathers. That is the story of so many families and why we must never forget the horror of war.”

The couple will rub shoulders with world leaders at the ceremony, including The Queen, US president Barack Obama and French president Francois Hollande.

After the ceremony, Cllr Perry will present Basse Normandie Council with photos of the D-Day preparations in Hampshire in 1944, including a photo of Southwick House in Southwick, near Fareham, that was used as Allied headquarters by supreme commander General Dwight Eisenhower and British commander General Bernard Montgomery.

Comments (7)

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6:56am Fri 6 Jun 14

Woolston ollie says...

LEST WE FORGET..............
.. EVERYONE OF THEM A HERO. THANK YOU
LEST WE FORGET.............. .. EVERYONE OF THEM A HERO. THANK YOU Woolston ollie
  • Score: 7

7:59am Fri 6 Jun 14

noodlesnewman says...

Woolston ollie wrote:
LEST WE FORGET..............

.. EVERYONE OF THEM A HERO. THANK YOU
Amazing brave men , it puts a tear in my eye to these honorable old gents,and for what ? to be ruled by a load corrupt technocrats from brussels robbing us blind ,shame on you ROTHCHILD and co !
[quote][p][bold]Woolston ollie[/bold] wrote: LEST WE FORGET.............. .. EVERYONE OF THEM A HERO. THANK YOU[/p][/quote]Amazing brave men , it puts a tear in my eye to these honorable old gents,and for what ? to be ruled by a load corrupt technocrats from brussels robbing us blind ,shame on you ROTHCHILD and co ! noodlesnewman
  • Score: -1

8:53am Fri 6 Jun 14

skeptik says...

Questions were indeed asked in the house in 1936 as to why British banks were 'investing in Germany' and why a British government had special trade tariffs. As to being ruled, we could look at it from a different angle - Churchill said that he could see difficulties in trying to get Europe to work as one after a thousand years where the rivers of Europe ran red with blood. If we take NATO the EU and other organizations we have had the longest period in history where Europe has not torn itself apart - would men who fought for peace accept that or wish to become isolationist. I have lived in Germany for several years - they are probably the pacifists of Europe now and the people just like you and me are interested in a good standard of living not about grand political games.
Questions were indeed asked in the house in 1936 as to why British banks were 'investing in Germany' and why a British government had special trade tariffs. As to being ruled, we could look at it from a different angle - Churchill said that he could see difficulties in trying to get Europe to work as one after a thousand years where the rivers of Europe ran red with blood. If we take NATO the EU and other organizations we have had the longest period in history where Europe has not torn itself apart - would men who fought for peace accept that or wish to become isolationist. I have lived in Germany for several years - they are probably the pacifists of Europe now and the people just like you and me are interested in a good standard of living not about grand political games. skeptik
  • Score: 2

11:12am Fri 6 Jun 14

noodlesnewman says...

skeptik wrote:
Questions were indeed asked in the house in 1936 as to why British banks were 'investing in Germany' and why a British government had special trade tariffs. As to being ruled, we could look at it from a different angle - Churchill said that he could see difficulties in trying to get Europe to work as one after a thousand years where the rivers of Europe ran red with blood. If we take NATO the EU and other organizations we have had the longest period in history where Europe has not torn itself apart - would men who fought for peace accept that or wish to become isolationist. I have lived in Germany for several years - they are probably the pacifists of Europe now and the people just like you and me are interested in a good standard of living not about grand political games.
ww2 =two secret societies having it out , churchhills knights templar s vs hitlers thule society , these secret societies fought tooth and nail as far back as the crusades , only one of these societies would admit jews . Adolf hitler levelled over one hundred and fifty masonic lodges in germany and had the grand masters executed all other freemasons where either with hitler or executed . Its food for thought isnt it ..... kennedy vowed to rout out these societies so did ronny reagan and look what happened to them , hummm !
[quote][p][bold]skeptik[/bold] wrote: Questions were indeed asked in the house in 1936 as to why British banks were 'investing in Germany' and why a British government had special trade tariffs. As to being ruled, we could look at it from a different angle - Churchill said that he could see difficulties in trying to get Europe to work as one after a thousand years where the rivers of Europe ran red with blood. If we take NATO the EU and other organizations we have had the longest period in history where Europe has not torn itself apart - would men who fought for peace accept that or wish to become isolationist. I have lived in Germany for several years - they are probably the pacifists of Europe now and the people just like you and me are interested in a good standard of living not about grand political games.[/p][/quote]ww2 =two secret societies having it out , churchhills knights templar s vs hitlers thule society , these secret societies fought tooth and nail as far back as the crusades , only one of these societies would admit jews . Adolf hitler levelled over one hundred and fifty masonic lodges in germany and had the grand masters executed all other freemasons where either with hitler or executed . Its food for thought isnt it ..... kennedy vowed to rout out these societies so did ronny reagan and look what happened to them , hummm ! noodlesnewman
  • Score: -5

11:49am Fri 6 Jun 14

skeptik says...

Don't be daft now.
Don't be daft now. skeptik
  • Score: 3

2:22pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Matt Probert says...

Died for whose freedom? The whole shambles were simply a continuation of the contest for economic wealth which had been going on for decades. Nothing to do with "freedom" just good old MONEY for the ruling classes, but guess who foot the bill? While the poor queued for bread the wealthy dined out at the Savoy where they still managed to find steak for them. Yeah great heroism.

Move on and stop glorifying the creation of widows and orphans.

If you want to celebrate real heroes, try considering those fireman who died and continue to die rescuing real people.
Died for whose freedom? The whole shambles were simply a continuation of the contest for economic wealth which had been going on for decades. Nothing to do with "freedom" just good old MONEY for the ruling classes, but guess who foot the bill? While the poor queued for bread the wealthy dined out at the Savoy where they still managed to find steak for them. Yeah great heroism. Move on and stop glorifying the creation of widows and orphans. If you want to celebrate real heroes, try considering those fireman who died and continue to die rescuing real people. Matt Probert
  • Score: -5

4:54pm Sat 7 Jun 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Matt Probert wrote:
Died for whose freedom? The whole shambles were simply a continuation of the contest for economic wealth which had been going on for decades. Nothing to do with "freedom" just good old MONEY for the ruling classes, but guess who foot the bill? While the poor queued for bread the wealthy dined out at the Savoy where they still managed to find steak for them. Yeah great heroism.

Move on and stop glorifying the creation of widows and orphans.

If you want to celebrate real heroes, try considering those fireman who died and continue to die rescuing real people.
If they hadn't died for our freedom, you wouldn't have graced this earth and you certainly wouldn't have the freedom to post your opinions on here.
[quote][p][bold]Matt Probert[/bold] wrote: Died for whose freedom? The whole shambles were simply a continuation of the contest for economic wealth which had been going on for decades. Nothing to do with "freedom" just good old MONEY for the ruling classes, but guess who foot the bill? While the poor queued for bread the wealthy dined out at the Savoy where they still managed to find steak for them. Yeah great heroism. Move on and stop glorifying the creation of widows and orphans. If you want to celebrate real heroes, try considering those fireman who died and continue to die rescuing real people.[/p][/quote]If they hadn't died for our freedom, you wouldn't have graced this earth and you certainly wouldn't have the freedom to post your opinions on here. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

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