King and Queen hear first-hand D-Day veteran stories

King and Queen hear first-hand D-Day veteran stories

2 hours agoIan Casey,BBC NewsKing and Queen host D-Day veterans at Buckingham Palace

Four D-Day veterans have been invited to Buckingham Palace to share their memories of the Normandy landings with the King and Queen.

John Dennett, 99, Arthur Oborne, Bernard Morgan and Jim Miller, all 100-years-old, brought mementos and keepsakes from the time to show the royal couple.

In return, King Charles read a diary extract written by his grandfather, King George VI, documenting the events of 6 June 1944.

Their visit was filmed as part of a BBC documentary marking the 80th anniversary of the largest military naval, air and land operation ever attempted.

Mr Oborne, of the 49th Division of the 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, was shot during the military operation, but was saved by his friend Walter.

“These are the dog tags which were recovered after I got a bullet through the lung, and there is blood still on some of them,” he said.

“He (Walter) rescued me, and as a family we will never forget it. We found that he was killed the day after. We visited his grave a number of times.”

Queen Camilla empathised with Mr Oborne, telling him: “It must be very difficult recollecting it all.”

Mr Dennett, a Navy gunner from Wallesey, Merseyside, told the King how he was “grateful” to be alive after so many young men died fighting during the war.

“I class myself as being very lucky” he said, continuing to say how he has been able to enjoy the life he fought for.

Mr Dennett also showed the King a picture of his wife, Joyce, whom he wrote love letters to throughout the war and later married.

The Queen spoke with the youngest RAF sergeant to land on Gold Beach, Mr Morgan.

She asked: “What are your recollections of D-Day itself?”

He replied: “When we came off the landing ship tank down on the beach, the Army were collecting the poor soldiers who drowned on the initial landing.”

He went on to share happier memories of the war too, showing off a pair of football boots he had with him in Normandy.

“I played 12 games of football, including one on the landing craft going to Normandy,” Mr Morgan said.

The King appeared amused by this, commenting: “How fantastic, they’re remarkably well-preserved.”

“They’re well past their sell-by date,” Mr Morgan joked.

The King and Queen Camilla meeting D-Day veterans Arthur Oborne, Jim Miller, Bernard Morgan and John Dennett

The King and Queen also spoke to Mr Miller, who had recently received a 100th birthday card from the couple. He told the royals about how he wants younger generations to learn about D-Day and “take it to heart”.

“Remembrance is so important,” he said.

Mr Miller landed on Juno beach and served in the 11th Hussars reconnaissance regiment.

King Charles shared a photo of his grandfather in Normandy, a few days after the military operation.

“He got very frustrated because they wouldn’t let him go until several days later” he shared.

D-Day was fought by troops from the UK, the US, Canada, and France when they attacked German forces on the coast of northern France, on 6 June 1944.

Up to 7,000 ships and landing craft were involved, delivering a total of 156,000 men and 10,000 vehicles to the five beaches along the carefully selected stretch of the Normandy coast.

As many as 4,400 troops died from the combined allied forces. Some 9,000 were wounded or missing.

Total German casualties on the day are not known, but are estimated as being between 4,000 and 9,000 men.

D-Day 80: Tribute to The Fallen, is showing on BBC One at 20:30 on 5 June and on BBC iPlayer.

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