King joining veterans at events for D-Day 80th anniversary

Ken Cooke was 18 when he was sent to fight in Normandy – he’d been neither on a boat nor on a beach before.

His 7th Battalion, The Green Howards, were among the first to land in France on D-Day.

“There were explosions every four or five seconds. You saw the flashes, the dust and smoke on the beach.

“I can’t explain, I don’t think anybody who was on that D-Day can explain the continuous noise, noise, noise.”

A month after landing Cooke suffered shrapnel wounds and was sent home. Doctors then discovered he was suffering from shell shock. For 30 years he didn’t speak about his experiences across the war – he does so now with children in schools.

“It’s up to them now to see that nothing like this happens again.”

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