Shoulder to shoulder, these six D-day veterans remember
A touching annual service took on extra poignancy this year as six surviving Normandy veterans stood shoulder to shoulder to commemorate D-day.
The oldest veteran at the city centre service was 97 and youngest 91. The number of members of Sheffield Normandy Veteran Association’s has dwindled over the decades but, despite their age, the six survivors were determined to remember.
A bugler played the Last Post and wreaths were laid to honour the friends who died fighting alongside them.
The service was lead by a priest for the fitst time.
Parade Marshall Don Gillott, aged 87, began the ceremony by calling the parade to attention as the veterans stood at the memorial in Barkers Pool.
He said: “Calling the troops to attention these days is comparatively easily to what it used to be.”
The veterans were supported by family members and friends.
Following the service veteran Gordon Drabble, 92, read out the Normandy Veterans’ prayer as the crowd listened in silence.
It includes the poignant words: “Oh Eternal Lord God “Who has united together all the Veterans of the Normandy Campaign
“Grant on we beseech you, your Blessing
“And give strength to carry on our work to bring aid and common purpose throughout our Association”
At the end of the service the oldest member of the group, Cyril Elliott, 97, laid a wreath on the war memorial and gave a respectful salute.
A minute’s silence was then held to think about those who had sacrificed their lives.
The Sheffield Veteran’s group meets once a month at Farm Road Sports and Social Club.
Some of the veterans have been attending events in Normandy this year so it was decided to hold the event in Sheffield on June 14 instead of June 6, as is usually done.