West Norfolk marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings yesterday, with seven surviving veterans of the operation laying wreaths at Tower Gardens in King’s Lynn.
The veterans, now in their 90s, came from all branches of the armed forces who took part in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944.
In a particularly moving moment, all seven veterans rose to lay wreaths of remembrance, including those who arrived and departed in wheelchairs.
Supporting each other, they climbed the steps as one and placed their tributes at the foot of the memorial.
Earlier, West Norfolk Mayor Geoff Hipperson paid tribute to the veterans when opening the ceremony.
Addressing the gathered dignitaries and members of the public, he said: “We are here to give thanks to the brave servicemen who invaded France 75 years ago, to preserve the memory of those that did not return and to honour those who are here today.
“It is due to their courage and persistence that we enjoy freedom.”
Gerry Tann, chairman of the Royal British Legion’s King’s Lynn branch, read from the D-Day message sent by Field Marshal Montgomery to troops about to disembark. In it Montgomery said: “In the better days that lie ahead men will speak with pride of our doings”.
Following religious readings and prayers, wing commander Stuart Geary, of RAF Marham, gave the exhortation, before the playing of the Last Post and Reveille.