An Aberdeen D-Day veteran has spoken of the sorrow and camaraderie he felt on his visit to the commemorations in France.
Jim Glennie, of Danestone, made the trip with his son-in-law Paul Gallagher to the Bayeux Cemetery, just 25 miles from where he landed on Sword beach to fight the Nazi threat.
Mr Glennie was just 18 when he made the trip from Aberdeen to Normandy, and has since made six returns to honour the more than 4,000 men who lost their lives on June 6 1944.
At a sombre ceremony attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Prime Minister Theresa May and the Prince of Wales, Jim lamented that this may be the final time so many veterans gather in remembrance, and in solidarity of what they went through 75 years ago.
Speaking to the Evening Express from France, Jim said: “It was very sad, and very humbling to be back here today.
“It really makes you think of the people who aren’t here, who lost their lives on that day and who we’ve lost since.
“This might be the last time so many of us will be together.”
Despite the overriding sorrow, Jim spoke of the relationship he shares with so many others, who understand what he went through.
He said: “It’s been a really nice feeling.
“There’s a kinship and a camaraderie that you can’t get anywhere else.
“They’ve been through something that’s completely unique.
“There’s no one else in the world that went through what we did, and hopefully there never will be again.”
In a sea of strangers there was one familiar face who stuck out in the crowd, and even noticed Jim the minute he spotted him.
Prince Charles, who Jim has met on several occasions, made straight for the 93-year-old, jokingly asking “are you still alive?”
According to son-in-law Paul the meeting with the prince “made Jim’s day”.
He said: “It was fantastic. He’s met the prince so many times.
“The last time was a few years ago at the unveiling of a portrait which was done of Jim.
“He even remembered Jim’s name, which was a really nice touch.”
Paul took the time to praise the work of the British Legion, who organised the trip for the veterans.
He said: “They’ve been wonderful, and they’ve treated all the guys here with the utmost respect.
“As Jim said, this could be the last time something on this scale happens, so they’ve really done their utmost to make sure they could get as many here as possible.”
Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, said: “D-Day was a pivotal moment in the Second World War.
“Today’s service provided us with an important reminder of both the bravery and tragedy which surrounds that day, and it was a poignant and historic moment to witness the presentation of the Knight of the Legion d’Honneur Cross to more of our remarkable veterans.”
She added: “Legion Scotland is committed to providing comradeship for those in the armed forces community and to ensuring the memory of those who fell in service to our country is remembered forever.
“It will be an honour and a privilege to host these incredible gentlemen, and to recognise the immense contribution of an entire generation.”