I had been planning to go to the DDay 70th anniversary commemoration for a while. Tickets were on application to the foreign office, so I wrote to them and told them that my father landed at Normandy and that I would like tickets. Surprisingly I was successful and was able to take two guests.
The whole of the Normandy beaches were closed off on the day. No small task when the beaches are 50 miles from side to side. However, despite my misgivings, the French authorities had organised it very well. Many of the roads to the beaches are no more than small tracks, but car parks had been allocated with the tickets.
In the morning, I took Donna and Alana to the service at the British War Graves in Bayeaux. We were treated very well and politely asked if our veteran was with us. I regret not wearing Dad’s medals, as I found out later that it was possible to wear them in remembrance. The ceremony was impeccable. The Queen arrived, got out of the car, shook hands with the Prime Minister and immediately two spitfires and a lancaster flew overhead. Later that afternoon, we took Eileen to the ceremony at Arromanches, which was in the presence of Price William and Kate.
The following day we went to Juno Beach, and enjoyed watching the locals celebrate at a tea dance. What a weekend!