The men and women of five British warships today sail to France where they will play a pivotal role in the D-Day commemorations.
The Royal Navy’s flagship, HMS Bulwark will lead Her Majesty’s Ships Richmond, Ledbury, Ranger and Express, as well as an international flotilla across the Channel to the Normandy Beaches where the 70th anniversary events will be held.
Steward Steven Chatton, 29, said: “D-Day was a significant event; it changed the canvas of Europe and ultimately led to the end of the war.”
The D-Day landings on June 6, 1944 involved a combined force of British, Canadian, American and French forces, which involved hundreds of units from the Royal Navy.
Around 132,000 Royal Marines and Allied soldiers were transported by ships and injected onto the beaches off Normandy by landing craft and sea boat with 23, 400 arriving by air.
It was the largest seaborne invasion ever launched and heralded the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Engineer technician Callum Edwards, from Fareham, in Hampshire, said it was important to remember: “I want to attend D-Day to personally remember those who served before us to show that we are still committed to remembering those who fell and to represent my country at such a historic event.”
Press Release, June 05, 2014; Image: UK Navy