D-Day farce: war hero's family asked to fill out 18 pages of forms to attend celebrations in Normandy (From Bournemouth Echo)
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D-Day farce: war hero's family asked to fill out 18 pages of forms to attend celebrations in Normandy
THE family of a war hero attending the D-Day celebrations in Normandy have had to fill out 18 pages of security clearance forms.
Ted Young, 90, of Parkstone, served with the Royal Engineers during World War II and landed on Juno beach in June 1944 faced with a sea of enemy gunfire.
For the last six years Ted’s family have travelled to Normandy to mark the anniversary, but unlike on the previous occasions, have this time been faced with extensive amounts of paperwork to fill in before attending.
Ted’s daughter, Irene Richards, said she was forced to spend hours filling in the documents for him and each of his eight guests, including his nine-year-old great-grandson.
“I am a typist so for me it was quicker, but for those who are not it could have been much more difficult,” she said.
“There are nine of us going and I had to fill out the reasons for each of us attending on every form.
“They needed things like his army number, the medals he was awarded and the colour of the car we would be using.”
The forms were sent to the family by the Ministry of Defence, which requires the information to satisfy the French government-imposed travel restrictions in the Normandy area for the duration of the event.
When printed off, Irene was confronted with two sides of A4 with space to fill in the answers to an array of questions for each person attending.
Ted, who waded through waters up to his shoulders and dodged bullets before helping to build a strategically pivotal new airfield at Beny-Sur-Mer, has attended the memorial services in each of the last 30 years.
Irene said she worries for other veterans, who unlike her father may not have family members or carers able to fill out the forms for them to such a tight deadline, with the French government requiring the information no later than April 30 for the event which starts on June 5.
“The veterans are not being thought of. Instead it seems to be all about the dignitaries and not those who fought for us,” she said. “The D-Day services are for the veterans, not just a show.”
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