Veterans relive D-day on 71st anniversary

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Veterans stood shoulder to shoulder to remember their fallen comrades in a solemn service on the 71st anniversary of D-Day.

The Last Post rang out across Barker’s Pool and a wreath was laid at the foot of the war memorial on Saturday at 11am.

Douglas Parker, aged 92 and of Owlthorpe, was with the first wave of soldiers to arrive on Sword Beach inNormandy in June 1944.

He said: “We have got to be grateful to the many people who didn’t make it back. I always remember how lucky I am.”

Fellow veteran Frank Yates said in a speech: “We did our little bit and I always think that when we did our little bit to get rid of the Nazis in Europe we are now happy that our children, grandchildren and our great-grandchildren can go on a beach without a pistol, a rifle, or a machine gun but armed only with a spade and bucket.”

Royal Navy veteran Cecil Badger, of Gleadless, remembered moving bodies so they would not wash out to sea.

He added:“There wouldn’t have been all these stories if we hadn’t have picked them up, there would be no gravestones.”

Leslie Giles, aged 90, said: “We weren’t scared, we were bloody terrified.”