D-Day veterans offered free voyage of remembrance
- Credit: PA
It will be a time to remember...when thousands of soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in action, so we can enjoy the freedom we have today.
The D-Day invasion was the first stage in the liberation of Europe from the Nazi stranglehold which let to victory for the Allied Forces in 1945.
Now Suffolk-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has announced it is proud to be working with the Royal British Legion to offer a 'Voyage of Remembrance' for Normandy Veterans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the campaign.
The Royal British Legion has chartered Fred. Olsen's 880-guest ship Boudicca for the voyage, which will take 300 veterans, plus a relative or carer, to a series of commemorative events in both England and France.
This voyage will be free to veterans and their companions, funded by the Royal British Legion LIBOR grant, in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence and Arena Travel.
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It will set sail from Dover on June 2 and will head to Dunkirk, before calling into Poole and Portsmouth, for commemorative events.
From there Boudicca will follow the same route as those involved in the Battle of Normandy, in what is set to be a poignant and moving voyage for the veterans and their loved ones.
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Peter Deer, Commercial Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: 'We feel honoured to be part of the Royal British Legion's commemoration, marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy.
'The voyage will follow the same path as the ships involved on this momentous day, and Boudicca will provide a comfortable setting in which to retrace those important steps, which bought peace and reconciliation to mark the Second World War,' he added.
Bob Gamble, The Royal British Legion's Assistant Director of Commemorative Events, said: Seventy-five years ago, the largest seaborne force in history set sail for France on a mission to liberate Europe.
'Alongside their American cousins, nearly 160,000 men from Britain and the Commonwealth landed on the beaches of Normandy.
'Today, we stand in awe of their achievement and salute their bravery and sacrifice. We invite any of them who wish to attend the events to commemorate to get in touch with the Legion and join our journey back to Normandy.'
Anyone wishing to join the sailing should contact the Royal British Legion to request an application form, which must be complete and returned by February 4.