“We have got to remember these people who have ensured we have freedom” – veteran talks to Beetley schoolchildren on Remembrance Day
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Schoolchildren were in the company of a legendary D-Day veteran today as he spoke to mark Armistice Day.
Former Royal Marine Len Bloomfield, 92, visited St Mary's Primary School in Beetley near Dereham to share his experiences of serving during the second world war.
Mr Bloomfield, from Beetley, watched a special assembly devised by some of the children before speaking about the annual remembrance, his time in the war and his recent visits backs to Normandy.
'When I saw all those graves in Normandy I thought something has to be done to remind the children that there are all these people who made the ultimate sacrifice,' he aid.
'We have got to remember these people who have ensured we have freedom.
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'We could have lost our freedom – that's what we were fighting for, and we are the products [of that] today.
'It's up to you youngsters to make sure we don't have world war three.
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'We are responsible for carrying on what we have fought for – freedom. We now know what freedom is and it's important to let the children know today.'
Only four months ago Mr Bloomfield was awarded his Arctic Star medal for his time aboard HMS Resolution bombarding German warships in the second Battle of Narvik in May 1940 and a daring rescue mission to collect captured comrades being held by the enemy soldiers in the Norwegian port at Aefjord.
His Arctic Star brings his collection of campaign medals to six – a rare feat, and one which honours a military career which took him from the Arctic to the Mediterranean, and from the Far East to Australia between 1939 and 1951.
Year four pupil Phoebe Anderson, 8, said she enjoyed listening to Mr Bloomfied and finding out what life was life in the war.
She said: 'We have got to be grateful for what they did for us.'
Jessica Balado, headteacher at the school, said Mr Bloomfield recently went on a trip to Duxford with the school and said he has helped to enhance the children's learning.
She said: 'It is a honour and a privilege to have a veteran in the school making the children see that real people were living through the war, and Len can make us see what it was really like.
'Len makes the history real and meaningful for the children.'