Plans were made In the summer of 2018 for the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary with our group clustered around Arromanches at La Rosière Hotel (10 rooms reserved) and 3 Gites. Four veterans  (we always said ‘God willing’ as we made our plans) and 25 Friends. For many of us this was likely to be the last time we would undertake an annual pilgrimage and it turned out to be a particularly poignant occasion as we remembered all those veterans who had been part of our group and who are with us in our hearts.

Diary events June 2nd – 8th 2019

Day 1. Sun 2nd

Left Stockport at 7.00 am to get Portsmouth-Cherbourg ferry. Arrived in hotel at 10.00 pm

Day 2. Mon 3rd

   A visit to the vast American Cemetery at Omaha with our own private remembrance ceremony

   The contrast visit to the German cemetery at La Cambe with all gravestones in black – as the vanquished they were not allowed to have white headstones or monuments

Day 3. Tues 4th

    Hermanville cemetery service and the grave of John McHugh (RE) – who died of wounds on 7th June – attended by his sister-in-law and niece. John’s brother Jim (RN) was a Stockport Normandy veteran

    Ranville cemetery for a memorial for Lt Gordon Royle (his niece Pam had contacted us through the website) who died on 6th June

    Service with the villagers of Ste Croix sur Mer (Mayor, villagers and children (who sang God Save the Queen as well as La Marseillaise) followed by refreshments in the village hall

Day 4. Wed 5th

     Service with villagers, military and piped band at Colville-Montgomery at Monty’s statue

     Memorial service for Stockport veteran Alfred Barlow who died on 5th May (our D-Day veteran)

    Buffet meal with the Mayor of Hermanville

Day 5. Thurs 6th

    Up at 6.30am to see the lone piper on the beach at Arromanches. BUT NO! The route was blocked and gendarmerie were intending us to be ‘locked in’ at the hotel all day. Our hotel owner hit the roof, became very Gallic and we were allowed to get out at 9.00 am with an (alleged) police escort. We did get in to Arromanches after waiting 1.5 hours at a road block to allow President Macron (he waved) and Teresa May (she didn’t) to fly past in convoy to Bayeux. Arromanches throbbing and service in the town square at 3.15 pm. Following a whole group meal we got back to the hotel at 10.00 pm

Day 6 Fri 7th

    Bayeux to visit the Cathedral (and for our family the Bayeux tapestry)

    Ciderie visit (24 bottles packed in the car)

Day 7 Sat 8th

     Left hotel at 6.00 am for the 8.30 am ferry. Our 5 hour sea journey took 7 hours in very rough conditions. Landed in Portsmouth at 3.00pm and long haul back to Stockport.