Veterans relive Normandy anniversary

Normandy veterans  Jack Mortimer (left) from Leeds and Raymond Ashby from York  at the Royal British Legion in Leeds.
Normandy veterans Jack Mortimer (left) from Leeds and Raymond Ashby from York at the Royal British Legion in Leeds.
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Three months ago, it had been the second great adventure of their lives, but charity workers had worried for the welfare of the Normandy veterans who took high tea in Yorkshire yesterday.

The six guests of the Royal British Legion, all in their 90s, had been among the 255 survivors of Operation Overlord who boarded a cruise ship chartered by the organisation in June to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. It took them to the shores of northern France and then to the national commemorative event in Portsmouth, attended by the Queen.

“We were concerned that when it was all over and they went back to their daily lives, anti-climax may have set in,” said Jon Keighren, of the Legion. “We wanted them to know that we are still here for them.”

Tea had been arranged at the Legion’s “pop-in” centre in Leeds, where it was “wonderful to see them interacting with each other”, Mr Keighren said.

“Even before those commemorations, Legion staff visited all of our veterans in their homes to offer support, and that support will continue now they’ve returned to Yorkshire,” added Debbie Harding, the organisation’s area manager.

“It has been our guiding principle to ensure our Normandy veterans are treated with the honour, dignity and respect they deserve.”