HUNDREDS gathered on Poole Quay to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. 

Beginning with a flotilla passing at 8:30pm, the public gathered on the edge of the Quay to watch the boats pass by which was then followed by a short march by Poole cadets and a speech from the mayor of Poole, Cllr Pete Miles. 

He said: "Let us remember those who gave their lives at home and abroad during D-Day landings, whose sacrifice enables us to enjoy the peace and freedom we have today. 

"Let us remember the families that lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters and sweethearts. Let us remember those who returned to restore their relationships and rebuild their working lives after years of conflict and turmoil."

Cllr Miles then lit Poole's beacon which was followed by the return of the flotilla which was met with a round of the applause by the public. 

Among those commemorating was Greg Smith who had brought his 1942 Jeep, 'Jessy', which he said was likely to have been on the beaches in Normandy during the invasion. 

He said: "I was meant to be in Normandy this week but we couldn't make it for various reasons so I thought I would bring it down here for the evening.

"It's important to remember D-Day especially when you have been over there. There's Germans still buried underneath because they wouldn't take them out. It's horrific when you know the history of what happened there. 

"I think everyone should know about it, all the kids over there know about it, they don't seem to know over here."

Another figure that caught the public's attention was Simon Meerza, a fundraiser with the Royal Naval association. 

Donned in his father's WW2 medals and his grandfather's WW1 medals, Simon said his father was accepted to the Navy after several attempts and served in South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives to name a few and earned himself the Burma Star. 

He said: "When war broke out Dad worked in WHSmiths. He went to join on September 4, the day after war was declared and he was told you have got seconded into Ministry of Food and Fisheries which was a reserved occupation. 

"For the next 18 months, he was a food checker and he would board ships and see if the food was fit for human consumption. Every three months he would send a request to join the Navy and it eventually came back accepted. 

"He went out South Africa, he was supposed to go to Singapore but that fell to the Japanese so he went to Colombo, Sri Lanka and he then ended up in the Maldives for eleven months and that's why he ended up with the Burma Star."