VIDEO: “I am lucky to be here today" - a veteran remembers as Bournemouth marks D-Day anniversary

Bournemouth Echo: Picture: Richard Crease Picture: Richard Crease

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.

 

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