Operation Overlord, in its very nature, meant that thousands of young men from different backgrounds would come together for a short space of time to fight for a common cause. Men in the Allied Forces became comrades and friends regardless of their class, religion or country of origin.
This comradeship lives on today.
When compiling a list of veterans who wished to travel with us to Normandy for the 65th Anniversary, we contacted a veteran called Arthur Beaumont. He wasn’t a member of any NVA branch and so didn’t know anyone already in the group. Yvonne, Secretary of the Chester and Wirral Branch of the NVA, reassured him that they were “a good bunch”. He said it didn’t matter if he didn’t know anyone, he soon would because in his words “we’re all lads!” This is an unspoken yet unquestioning bond which perhaps only ex-servicemen and women will understand.
In so many cases, those of us who have never gone into battle for our country will never fully understand the memories and experiences these men share and endure. The best we can do is to show support to those who have been, or are today, willing to put themselves at risk to keep us safe. Whilst these men are amongst us we have an opportunity to listen to them, learn from them and preserve the memory of the losses and achievements of war.
If you are a Normandy Veteran or relative and would like your story to be published on this website then please don't hesitate to get in touch.