D-Day Revisited’s main objective is to fund and organise pilgrimages which give veterans of the Normandy campaign an opportunity to revisit the beaches and surrounding areas where they fought, and to pay tribute to those they left behind back in 1944.
Veteran Jim Baker returns to remember comrades lost at Juno Beach
As a charity we take our responsibility of care very seriously during these visits. Veterans have told us that the days are gone when a gang of old comrades can jump in a transit van and head over the Channel for a week’s camping over the D-Day Anniversaries. We listened, and consequently we have built a hard-working support team of volunteers who go out of their way to ensure the journey and the stay in France is as comfortable as possible for all veterans and their companions.
This team consists of at least four trained medics who provide cover 24 hours a day. Fortunately, we haven’t had any serious medical problems during any of our pilgrimages to date. However, the team treats even minor complaints with professionalism and we notice veterans take comfort from knowing this support is available.
On average we take a group of 100 veterans, companions and support volunteers back to France each year. Although we understand that for many this pilgrimage is a difficult emotional journey, filled with quiet moments of reflection, we also recognise there are times when a bit of merriment is appropriate. Many veterans have not travelled within such a large group of comrades before and have told us they find the experience very entertaining, making new friends along the way!
Veterans Chris Hart, Charlie Barnes & Alf Bradshaw share a joke in Arromanches
These visits are open to any veteran of Operation Overlord or the wider Normandy Campaign, whether they be soldier, sailor, airman or merchant seaman. If you or a family member would like to apply for a place, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 01244 531 765.
There is no cost at all to veterans, we feel that since these men didn't have to pay for their first visit to Normandy in 1944, they shouldn't have to pay now!
British Normandy Veterans during a ceremony of remembrance at the American Cemetery
Although annual pilgrimage visits to the D-Day Landing Grounds are the primary concern, alongside this priority D-Day Revisited sets out to organise other events during the year in order to raise wider awareness of the huge D-Day story. Some of these are fundraising events, others are purely to build connections between our oldest and youngest generations. Inevitably following the war-time 1940s theme, our events provide welcome opportunities for veterans to join in the fun, and hopefully to find vivid and memorable ways to stimulate the interests of the younger generations.