Remembering D-Day in King’s Lynn
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Their chests were draped with medals, their faces lined with pride as they struggled to their feet.
Second World War veterans led a wreath laying to remember those who fell on the beaches and the road to Berlin on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Applause rang out as former 1st Royal Norfolk Cyril Route, 95, who fought at Monte Cassino, was helped from his wheelchair and up the three steps to the war memorial in King's Lynn's Tower Gardens.
As he bent to lay his tribute, he was joined by stoker first class Samuel Daniels, also 95, who served on board the battleship HMS Ramillies as it bombarded German defences.
At their side was former artilleryman Frederick Hall, who took park in the eastern sector of the landings, where Brits served alongside Canadians.
Welcoming veterans, serving personnel and guests to the service, West Norfolk mayor Geoff Hipperson said: "We are here to give thanks to the brave servicemen who invaded France 75 years ago, to preserve the memory of those who did not return and honour the veterans who are here today.
"The Normandy landings are considered to be the beginning of the end of the war in Europe."
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Gerry Tann, chairman of Lynn British Legion, read General Montgomery's message to his troops on the eve of battle, urging: "With stout hearts and enthusiasm for the contest, let us go forward to victory."
Mayor's chaplain Fr Adrian Ling led prayers for all who have fallen in the service of their country, to those who were wounded and those who bear the physical or mental scars of war.
Wing Cdr Stuart Geary, from RAF Marham, read the exhortation before the crowd murmured: "We will remember them."
Mayor's cadet Sophie Cousins read: "When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today."
The stone memorial, next to the Greyfriars Tower, bears the names of 116 Lynners who made the ultimate sacrifice for King and country in the 1939 - 45 conflict, alongside 569 from the First World War.