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Old soldiers hold their own parade to remember D-Day

remembered: Veterans of 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Batttalion at a service in Putot-en-Auge in Normandy. Below Jacob and Poppy Kay honour their grandad.

remembered: Veterans of 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Batttalion at a service in Putot-en-Auge in Normandy. Below Jacob and Poppy Kay honour their grandad.

D-day became D-I-Y day in Preston as Lancashire paid its respects on the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

Old soldiers got together to stage their own tribute when the city council decided not to hold an official ceremony.

And they based it in a street corner pub in the Ashton area of the city, with a march and a short service in a neighbouring church to honour the heroes of June 1944.

“It’s a strange one, but when we found out Preston wasn’t doing anything officially, we decided we had better do our own,” said one of the organisers Brian Baines. “We couldn’t let this huge occasion go unrecognised. It wouldn’t have been right.”

D-Day veterans, including 93-year-old Maurice Weeks from Ingol, were invited to attend the event at the 
Wellington pub in Tulketh Road, which was continuing today with ex-servicemen from near and far meeting up.

Mr Baines explained: “I’m a little bit surprised nothing was going on officially.

“We only found out there was nothing happening last week, so we had to get it organised pretty quickly. The 
Wellington landlord Alan Chester has been brilliant.

“A group of us ex-servicemen got together a small committee and since word got out the event has just got bigger and bigger. We’ve had people phoning up from all over the country, not just Preston.

“It has really captured the imagination.

“They have told us they are really chuffed that this is happening.

“The troops who took part in the Normandy Landings deserve our respect.

“They deserve to be honoured by this city.”

It wasn’t just the middle-aged and elderly of Lancashire who commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Brother and sister Jacob and Poppy Kay from Bamber Bridge crossed the Channel to take part in one of the many services of remembrance held in Normandy.

The youngsters, aged 12 and six, wore the maroon beret of the Parachute Regiment to lay a wreath at Putot-en-Auge in honour of their grandfather who fought there. His unit, the 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Battalion, liberated the village from German hands in August 1944, suffering numerous casualties in the process.

 

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