Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

County Leader invited by Region of Basse Normandie to join D-Day commemoration events

Thursday, 05 June 2014

Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, has been invited as a guest of the Lower Normandy Regional Council and its President Laurent Beauvais to join in events in Normandy to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D Day.

He will be present at the International Ceremony at Sword Beach near Ouistreham on Friday afternoon which will be attended by the Queen, the French President and President Obama as well as other world leaders.

During the brief visit, Councillor Perry will be accompanied by his wife Veronica who is a fluent French speaker.

Other ceremonies will include a service at the Bayeux War Cemetery. There is also a Tattoo de La Liberte which is a concert of military music with 500 musicians performing on Saturday evening.

Councillor Roy Perry will take with him to present to Basse Normandie Council, photographs of scenes of Hampshire in 1944 as preparations were made this side of the Channel for the events of D Day.

They include photographs of: Southwick House and Operation Overlord map, preparations at the River Hamble, Lepe Beach and remnants of Mulberry Harbour, and aerodromes in the New Forest.

Councillor Perry said: "It is a great honour to be invited and I know just how much our French neighbours particularly in Normandy honour the debt they owe to those veterans for the freedom they enjoy today.

"My father fought in France in the Battle for France- although not at D Day - and he always told me he was the last British soldier to arrive in France and he never saw a German soldier but this ceremony will bring home to me the danger those young soldiers faced back in 1944.

"My grandfather was killed in the 1st World War, my wife's father was killed in the 2nd World War and so it is not until three generations later , the generation of my grandchildren, that they have known both grandfathers. That is the story of so many families and why we must never forget the horror of war."

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