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HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Prime Minister Attend NVA Evensong

Monday, 26th October 2009

HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Prime Minister Attend NVA Evensong

His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester and the Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Gordon Brown MP, and over 1000 members of The Normandy Veterans’ Association attended Evensong on Sunday 25 October at 3.00pm, marking the 65th anniversary of the Normandy Campaign.

During the service readings were given by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Patron, The Normandy Veterans' Association and Major General Tony Richardson, President, The Normandy Veterans’ Association. The Address was given by The Reverend Canon Professor Martyn Percy, Principal, Ripon College, Cuddesdon. The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster gave the bidding and pronounced the blessing.

At the end of the service, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Major Tony Richardson and Edward Slater, National Chairman, The Normandy Veterans’ Association, laid wreaths at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. Edward Slater, National Chairman, NVA recited the Exhortation.

The Last Post and Reveille were sounded.

The Normandy Veterans’ Association is a support group for all veterans of the Normandy Landings of June 1944. It was formed in 1981 at a meeting between four ex-servicemen. Since that first gathering the NVA has grown to become an organisation of global importance with members in many countries. It aims to provide veterans with the same spirit of comradeship which they experienced during the Normandy campaign as well as to remember those friends and colleagues who fell whilst defending their countries.

In this, the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Normandy Landings, the last mass events of the NVA are taking place. Inevitably, the membership of the NVA decreases with each passing year. Eventually no veterans will remain. However, the legacy of what those service men and women accomplished, both during and after the Second World War, will endure.

The Normandy Landings, part of Operation Overlord, marked a turning point in the war. The campaign, involving air, land, and naval forces, was intended to establish Allied troops on Normandy soil. It was to be the largest amphibious operation in history. After more than a year of planning, on 6 June 1944 American, British, and Canadian forces landed simultaneously at five points along the Normandy shoreline and began the liberation of France. By August, northern France had been delivered up to Allied control, the occupying Wehrmacht forces in Paris surrendering to the commander of the Free French 2nd Armoured Division on 25 August.

See also

The Order of Service (PDF, 990KB)

The Sermon given by the Reverend Canon Professor Martyn Percy, Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon

BBC News website

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