Charles and Camilla join Theresa May for D-Day remembrance service

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Philip May, Prime Minister Theresa May, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales attend the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have joined the Prime Minister and D-Day veterans at a service of remembrance, commemorating 75 years since the Normandy landings.

Charles was adorned in a number of military medals as he marked the Allied invasion on June 6 1944.

The decorations included: the Queen’s Service Order, New Zealand, the Canadian Forces decoration, the New Zealand commemorative medal, and medals marking the Queen’s coronation and jubilees.

Charles ahead of the service
Charles ahead of the service (Jane Barlow/PA)

The congregation heard a reading from D-Day veteran Kenneth Hay.

Mr Hay, reading from Cyril Crain’s poem Normandy, said: “Come and stand in memory of men who fought and died.

“They gave their lives in Normandy, remember them with pride.”

Crain was also a Normandy soldier, and landed at Juno Beach in June 1944, four days before his 21st birthday.

He died in 2014 age 91.

The Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral
The Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral (Jane Barlow/PA)

Also at Bayeux Cathedral were Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, as well as senior staff from the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force.

Speaking after the service, Mr Corbyn praised the “beautiful and inclusive service in memory of people who died in Normandy and ultimately helped to defeat the scourge of fascism”.

Later, dignitaries and veterans laid commemorative wreaths at the Cross of Sacrifice at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Bayeux, alongside men who served in the Normandy campaign.

D-Day 75th anniversary
The Royal British Legion’s service of remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Bayeux (Jane Barlow/PA)

Heir to the throne Charles and Mrs May took part as a military band played.

During the service, veteran Frank Baugh, 95, delivered his personal account of how he was a signalman on a landing craft that took 200 troops from 2nd Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry from Newhaven to Sword Beach.

He described how the troops landed in about 4ft of rough water under “heavy machine gun fire” at 7.25am.

Frank Baugh
Veteran Frank Baugh, 95, during the service (Steve Parsons/PA)

The landing craft was hit and the number 2 troop space caught fire, leaving some badly injured and having to stay on the ship, but those who had been lightly injured followed their comrades, he said.

“They wanted to go with their partners and that’s what happened,” Mr Baugh said.

“My most abiding memory of that day is seeing our boys we had been talking to the minute before.

D-Day 75th anniversary
D-Day veteran Vincent Horton, 93, from Stoke-on-Trent, lays a wreath at the cemetery (Jane Barlow/PA)

“They got cut down with machine gun fire. They would fall into the water, floating face down and we couldn’t get them out.

“We couldn’t help them. That is my most abiding memory and I can’t forget it.”

Hundreds of people had earlier lined the streets of Bayeux to clap and cheer D-Day veterans as they paraded from the cathedral service to the cemetery.

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