The fallen heroes of D-Day, who fought in “one of the greatest battles for freedom this world has ever known”, have been honoured in moving ceremonies in Normandy.
At the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Bayeux, Prime Minister Theresa May, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall gathered with Second World War veterans for a special service of remembrance on the 75th anniversary of the largest amphibious assault in history.
Tributes were paid to the courage of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to liberate Europe.
The 1,000-strong congregation declared in unison: “We shall remember them”, before a two-minute silence.
During the service, veteran Kenneth Hay, who was only 18 himself when he joined the daring military operation, read from the poem Normandy by Cyril Crain, who was also part of the Allied invasion.
Mr Hay’s reading began: “Come and stand in memory of men who fought and died.
“They gave their lives in Normandy, remember them with pride.”
Mr Crain landed at Juno Beach in June 1944, four days before his 21st birthday. He died in 2014, aged 91.
Bayeux, close to the northern French coast, was the first major place to be liberated, after the Allied forces invasion.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry also gathered in the historic setting.
Early on Thursday morning, Mrs May and French President Emmanuel Macron paid their respects to the fallen at Ver-sur-Mer, at the inauguration of the British Normandy Memorial overlooking Gold Beach, where many of the troops arrived on D-Day.
Funded by the Normandy Memorial Trust, the monument will list the names of all 22,442 members of the British armed forces who died in the Normandy campaign in summer 1944.
Picture: A field of poppies close to the British Normandy Memorial site in Ver-sur-Mer, France, on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (Owen Humphreys/PA).