Retracing soldiers' steps in Normandy

WORCESTERSHIRE war veterans are being offered the chance to visit the beaches and fields where the decisive campaign that ended the Second World War was fought.

Soldiers of the Worcestershire Regiment’s First Battalion landed in Normandy, northern France, in June 1944, and were soon heavily involved in the battle of Caen and the advance on the river Seine.

On August 16, they were the first troops to cross the river, despite coming under heavy fire. The battalion later fought through the liberation of Belgium and Holland, and the subsequent invasion of Germany.

In March 1945, the county’s soldiers played a major part in the crossing of the Rhine and the eventual entry into the German capital, Berlin.

And this summer, exactly 70 years later, an historical research group is planning to retrace the steps of the county men who contributed so much to the final victory over Nazi Germany.

Battlefield Memorial Tours organiser Brian Long said: “We strive to deliver exceptional value tours to major European battlefield sites, providing an informative insight into key historical events.

“We are continuing a long tradition of taking friends and relatives to military cemeteries within the areas we visit. Battlefield Memorial Tours builds on more than 40 years of experience, ensuring that today’s visitors can gain an understanding of events that happened during the two world wars. Our tours are hosted in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.”

Veterans can apply for Lottery cash. Funding includes a carer who can be in the form of their spouse, sons, daughters or a friend. They are entitled to a carer each so that a veteran and veteran's wife could - in theory, but perhaps unlikely - have two carers.

Battlefield Memorial Tours can process the applications if necessary. However, insurance would be the responsibility of individual travellers.

The trip to Normandy will run from June 5-9. For more information, visit www.battlefieldmemorialtours.co.uk or contact Brian Long on 01629 650780.

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