A Daventry veteran of the D-Day landings has said he is sad to see the end of the Normandy Veterans Association (NVA).
Ted Sharp served as a marine on June 6, 1944 and is now a member of the NVA.
With the 70th anniversary of D-Day commemorated last week, the veterans’ association has announced it will be winding up later this year.
Mr Sharp said: “I wasn’t in Normandy this year for the services, but I watched it on television. It was a great commemoration and good to see, especially as it looks like it’ll be the last one for the NVA. I’m a member and have been across to Normandy several times to visit the beaches, the towns and the war cemeteries, and see the locals as well.”
Mr Sharp volunteered for the Navy in 1942 at the age of 17, but was accepted into the Marines.
On D-Day itself he was part of a flotilla in the Channel off the invasion beaches.
He said: “We were off the beaches, we couldn’t see what was happening, but we could hear what was going on. The captain of our flotilla said that Mr Churchill had sent a message and we were to mount a search and rescue operation picking up any flotsam washed off the Normandy beaches as Churchill didn’t want it to wash up on our shores.
“A group of us from Daventry went to Normandy every five years since the NVA started in the 1980s. It’s a big area – the beaches stretch for 50 miles. We visited lots of places, including the American cemetery which is a sight.
“Every time I went I would just try to take it all in. The local people were always so grateful to us, even though they suffered terribly during the bombing.”
Since the war Mr Sharp has worked tirelessly for veterans with the Royal British Legion in the town.