Veterans urged to register for D-Day 75 Events

With less than one month to go until the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, The Royal British Legion is urging veterans and their families to register for events in Portsmouth and France. D-Day veterans and their families are being encouraged to register for a place at three major events taking place this June in Portsmouth and France to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

World Leaders

Following the recent announcement that world leaders will be attending the events in Portsmouth, the Legion wants to ensure the additional security and global interest does not deter veterans wishing to attend. Each veteran can be accompanied by a carer, and now up to two family members will also be able to join them but they must register with the Legion for their places.

The Royal British Legion’s Assistant Director for Commemorative Events, Bob Gamble OBE said: “The veterans are, and will be throughout the events in Portsmouth and France, our number one priority and at the heart of everything we do. This will be the last chance we have to host this number of D-Day and Normandy veterans, as we invite world leaders and the nation to pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifices they made 75 years ago. That’s why we’re urging all veterans wishing to attend these events to please register for their place, to make sure that no one misses out on what will be an incredibly moving and poignant occasion.”

Series of Events

The Legion, in partnership with the Ministry of Defence, is leading the UK’s commemorations in France to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. This will involve a series of events in the UK and Normandy including at Bayeux Cathedral and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Bayeux.

Veterans and their families are being urged to register for the events in Portsmouth and France online at rbl.org.uk/DDay75 These include:

· Southsea Common, Portsmouth, United Kingdom – 5 June

· Bayeux Cathedral, France – 6 June

· Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Bayeux, France – 6 June

Focal Point

Portsmouth, where much of the landing force sailed from in 1944, will be the focal point of the Ministry of Defence led UK commemorations, along with a service of Remembrance to be held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for those veterans not able to travel to Normandy.

One veteran who has already signed up to attend is Royal Marine Veteran Jim Healy, who was just 19 years old and a coxswain of a landing craft transporting Canadian troops onto Juno Beach on D-Day. Jim said: “I think it’s important to be a part of The Royal British Legion D-Day 75th Commemorations because I always want to remember the lads that we lost – we actually lost ten of the boats in our 18-strong convoy. I just hope other D-Day veterans who are fit enough to travel do the same.”

Internationally

The 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings will be a momentous occasion which will be marked internationally. Commonly referred to as D-Day, the Normandy Landings began on 6 June 1944, when allied forces launched a combined naval, air and land assault on Nazi-occupied Europe.

Information on how to accredit to attend events can be found on The Royal British Legion’s website rbl.org.uk/DDay75 To access information on how the public can attend events in Portsmouth, please visit https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/D-Day-events and check for updates. For a full list of events visit https://www.visitportsmouth.co.uk/d-day-75