THE Last Post sounded across Bournemouth Gardens as veterans, dignitaries and members of the public gathered at the War Memorial to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Following a minute's silence and prayers, wreaths were laid at the memorial by the mayor, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset and 92-year-old veteran Frederick Greenwood.
On the day after the initial landings Geoffrey Vines, who served in the Royal Artillery Light Anti-Aircraft regiment, had to swim ashore to Juno Beach after his ship was split into two.
The 90-year-old, who only knew about the ceremony after reading an article in the Bournemouth Advertiser, said he was delighted the anniversary was being recognised.
“We have to remember,” he said.
“It brings it all back. I feel very honoured and lucky to be able to be here today.”
D-Day veteran Geoffrey Vines
Radio officer Frederick Greenwood was stationed in Branksome Chine from spring 1943 until the weeks leading up to D-Day.
The 92-year-old, who was captured by German troops in France and spent two years as a prisoner of war, said he attended the service to pay his respects to friends who lost their lives during the war.
“Only four of us came back alive,” he said.
“They spent all that time here. A lot of people must have known them. It's about time they were remembered in Bournemouth.”
The mayor, Cllr Chris Mayne, organised the service after the council previously announced it had no plans to mark the historic event.
Richard Wilkin, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, said he felt honoured to attend the ceremony.
- VIDEO: Christchurch '"grateful and proud" to be in company of D-Day veterans on 70th anniversary
- "It's about the fellas no longer with us" - US coastguard veteran pays emotional return visit to Poole on D-Day
- D-Day: a timeline of how events unfolded 70 years ago
- VIDEO: D-Day veteran Eric Steele: 'I can still name all the friends I lost in the Normandy landings'
- VIDEO: We feared we wouldn't reach the beaches of Normandy - former councillor Phil Carey recalls D-Day
- VIDEO: Amazing exploits of D-Day veteran Bob Roberts, the second man to set foot on Juno beach
- Dorset's key role during D-Day: how the county was involved in the Longest Day
- History from a Bournemouth clifftop: how Eisenhower and Montgomery observed D-Day preparations in Poole
- Father's role as fireman in Poole in preparations for D-Day
- Guided walk to mark D-Day anniversary
- VIDEO: “It was a scene you’ve never seen before or since” - veteran Ted Young’s D-Day memories
- VIDEO: Aged 16 and part of Operation Overlord: Veteran Peter Oliver’s D-Day experiences
- UPDATED: Operation oversight: council fails to organise events to mark 70th anniversary of D-Day
- Bournemouth council announce D-Day events – days after saying it had no plans to mark historic anniversary