King gives 100th birthday card to D-Day veteran

King gives 100th birthday card to D-Day veteran

1 hour agoSean Coughlan,Royal correspondentGetty ImagesMr Miller was 20 years old when he took part in the landing on Juno Beach in 1944

A D-Day veteran has been given a 100th birthday card in person by King Charles.

Jim Miller was invited to Buckingham Palace, where he told the King about his experiences of the Second World War Normandy landings into Nazi-occupied France.

“I am humbled to reach such a great number, especially when I think of those who fell on the Normandy beaches all those years ago,” Mr Miller said.

Next week King Charles and other royals will be taking part in commemorations in the UK and France for the 80th anniversary of the June 1944 D-Day landings.

Getty ImagesD-Day landings at Juno Beach, where Jim Miller came ashore in June 1944

6 June 1944, known as D-Day, marked the beginning of the Allied campaign to liberate France and western Europe from Nazi occupation.

Mr Miller, originally from London and now living in South Wales, was 20 years old when he landed on Juno Beach on 9 June.

“I am proud that I can still share my memories with the generations that come after me,” he said.

As he was given his 100th birthday card, he told the King about his personal experience of “such a momentous and harrowing time”.

He volunteered for the Army when he was 18, having failed a hearing test for the Royal Air Force.

He served as a driver and wireless operator in armoured cars. During the D-Day landings he crossed the Channel on an American ship.

“I was totally surprised and delighted to be invited to Buckingham Palace. It was a special day and a real honour for me to meet the King and be presented with my 100th birthday card,” Mr Miller said.

Next week King Charles, Queen Camilla and Prince William, the Prince of Wales, will take part in a national D-Day commemoration in Portsmouth.

The events for the 80th anniversary of the biggest seaborne invasion in history will also be the first trip overseas for King Charles since his cancer diagnosis.

The King, who is patron of the Royal British Legion, will travel to France for a commemoration at the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer.

An international ceremony with over 25 heads of state will be attended by Prince William.

23 surviving British D-Day veterans will travel to Normandy. A further 21 veterans, including the 100 -year-old Mr Miller, are expected at an event at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

They are part of a dwindling number of veterans of the Normandy landings who remain alive.

Five years ago, 255 D-Day veterans attended Normandy events. Philippa Rawlinson of the Royal British Legion said: “These incredibly moving and poignant commemorations will be our last opportunity to host a significant number of Normandy veterans.”

156,000 Allied troops went ashore on the first day of the landings on 6 June 1944, of whom historians estimate around 2,500 were killed. The landings proved to be a key turning point in the military campaign to defeat Nazi Germany.

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