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Theresa May, Camilla and Nicola Sturgeon pause to greet Norfolk D-Day veterans at moving service

PUBLISHED: 14:31 06 June 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Prime Minister Theresa May at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

At the Cathedral in the first town to be liberated by the Allied forces in 1944, Norfolk and Suffolk Normandy veterans and their brothers in arms who died, have been honoured.

The Dakota and Spitfire aircraft fly over Bayeux for the D-Day 75th commemorations. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Dakota and Spitfire aircraft fly over Bayeux for the D-Day 75th commemorations. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Royal British Legion held a service at Bayeux Cathedral this morning to remember those who landed on Normandy beaches 75 years ago today, and the resulting campaign which saw France and then Europe liberated from the tyranny of the Nazis.

The Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall were in attendance alongside Prime Minister Theresa May in one of her last official engagements before she steps down from leadership of the Conservative Party tomorrow.

First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon also came to the service, as did Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Norfolk veterans Jack Woods, Len Fox and Fred Fitch attended the moving ceremony along with Suffolk veterans Alan King and Harry Bowdery.

The Dakota and Spitfire aircraft fly over Bayeux for the D-Day 75th commemorations. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Dakota and Spitfire aircraft fly over Bayeux for the D-Day 75th commemorations. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The packed Cathedral heard a message read by Cardinal Marc Ouellet on behalf of Pope Francis who said D-Day was "decisive in the fight against Nazi barbarism" and who remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

D-Day veterans gave readings, there were rousing hymns, choral performances and hymns. In a prayer, The Venerable (Air Vice-Marshall) John R Ellis, said: "Let us remember the courage, devotion to duty, and the self-sacrifice of the men and women in our armed forces...those who perished in their homes, those who fell in battle and are buried at sea or in some corner of a foreign field and especially those whom we have known and loved."

Prominently seated along the centre aisle of the Cathedral, our veterans waited in wheelchairs as clerics, dignitaries, heads of state and royals passed them twice: on their departure, the Duchess of Cornwall and Mrs May paused to smile at Norfolk's veterans, Mrs Sturgeon stopped to shake Len Fox's hand.

Outside, and past the stringent security, townspeople had gathered to applaud the veterans as they left the service, many in tears as they offered their thanks.

French police have a break from running the security in Bayeux for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance at the Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFrench police have a break from running the security in Bayeux for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance at the Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"Without you," said one, "we would have lost everything. Thank you. Thank you all."

The Norwich and District Normandy veterans in Bayeux waiting for their coach after for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance at the Cathedral. From left, Harry Bowdery, Len Fox, Jack Woods, and veteran's widow Jean Chapman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Norwich and District Normandy veterans in Bayeux waiting for their coach after for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance at the Cathedral. From left, Harry Bowdery, Len Fox, Jack Woods, and veteran's widow Jean Chapman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norwich and District Normandy veterans at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Norwich and District Normandy veterans at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Normandy veteran Fred Fitch at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorwich Normandy veteran Fred Fitch at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norwich and District Normandy veteran Len Fox at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Norwich and District Normandy veteran Len Fox at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Bayeux Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBayeux Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norwich and District Normandy veteran Jack Woods meets an old friend as the veterans arrive in Bayeux for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance at the Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Norwich and District Normandy veteran Jack Woods meets an old friend as the veterans arrive in Bayeux for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance at the Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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The Norwich and District Normandy veterans arrive in Bayeux for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance at the Cathedral. From left, standard bearer Patrick Hornby, Jack Woods, Harry Bowdery, Len Fox, and standard bearer Jimmy Roberts. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Norwich and District Normandy veterans arrive in Bayeux for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance at the Cathedral. From left, standard bearer Patrick Hornby, Jack Woods, Harry Bowdery, Len Fox, and standard bearer Jimmy Roberts. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYScotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYScotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Prime Minister Theresa May at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPrime Minister Theresa May at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Prime Minister Theresa May at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPrime Minister Theresa May at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Prime Minister Theresa May at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPrime Minister Theresa May at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Bayeux Cathedral for the D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY



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