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On the morning of 6 June 1944, a staggering 150,000 troops invaded France, landing on five different beaches on the Normandy coast.

The British landed at Sword and Gold beaches, the Canadians at Juno and the Americans at Utah and Omaha. Thousands would never make it home. The fighting was fierce but strategically successful and from there they continued on, turning the tide of the war.  

Meet our land veterans

Meet blind veterans Harry, John and Richard. They were just 22, 23 and 19 respectively when they fought to liberate Europe in 1944.

Bill dodged enemy fire to survive the landing

A driver and motorcyclist, Bill's unit was responsible for keeping the third Battalion Monmouthshire regiment supplied with provisions. When he landed, the beach was burning and he remembers seeing a big German gun on the clifftop firing at them as they came to shore.

He managed to get up the beach with his vehicle and continue on, but says the regiment he was with was "annihilated". 

Blind veteran Bill, wearing a suit and his medals

Raymond fought the Germans at Arromanches

Army veteran, Raymond, landed at Arromanches where the Germans had dug into the natural defences. He remembers the Royal Engineers blowing a hole through the concrete sea wall so their trucks could pass through.

Once half a mile inland, they took shelter in a cider apple orchard and, typical army boys, had to try the apples. They were so sour, he swore he'd never touch cider ever again, adding, "It was the best time of my life. Everybody was your friend. All you had to look for to find a friend was the uniform. See that? Friend."

Raymond sadly passed away just before the 80th anniversary of D-Day, at the age of 100.

A portrait of blind veteran Raymond

Ken waterproofed the vehicles before landing

Ken shared his D-Day memories with us just before he sadly passed away in April 2024, aged 101. He told us that, before leaving for the beaches, his unit were given pills to take to put their minds at ease.

He drove onto Sword Beach at 7:30am, having waterproofed the vehicles by extending the exhaust pipe and sealing it up. He said the beach was noisy and the Germans were waiting for them. Asked if he was scared, Ken simply said: "You had to do it. That was it." 

A portrait of blind veteran Ken

George was part of the second flotilla

As an engineer supporting the Royal Army Medical Corps, George landed on Jig beach, a section of Gold Beach. He says, "We drove up, we unloaded, and we swept up the beach." After that, they headed into France and it was a case of "just fighting and taking over, and settling and then resettling." 

More than anything, George remembers the banter among his comrades, saying, "There was always somebody who was frightened and those who wanted to pull his leg." 

Blind D-Day veteran George

Donate now

It's been 80 years since D-Day but our blind veterans are still having to fight for their independence. Sight loss can be desperately isolating for the elderly and without the right equipment and support, our D-Day heroes will be unable to leave their homes.

Please be there for them today. 

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