Last week The Not Forgotten Association took a group of service men and women representing all three Services and aged from 41 to 97 years on a battlefield tour to Normandy.

Whilst visiting Sword Beach, each of the three WWII veterans in the party recounted their wartime experiences. For one of them, Royal Navy veteran Bill Brentnall, it was a hugely significant moment in his life, being the first time he had returned there since D-Day in 1944 when he was on board a tank landing craft.

For a younger Royal Navy veteran, who was put forward for the tour by Help for Heroes’ Band of Brothers, the trip gave him the opportunity to carry out a very personal act of remembrance.  His 95-year-old mother’s oldest brother - an uncle he had never met - who had been killed on D-Day is buried in Hermanville War Cemetery in Normandy. The Not Forgotten Association arranged for him to visit the grave and to place there a letter from his mother as well as a poppy cross with his uncle’s cap badge, thereby fulfilling her lifetime’s ambition of paying her final respects to her brother. It was an extraordinarily emotional act for him, his mother and for the whole group.

The Not Forgotten Association would like to thank Help for Heroes who very generously helped to fund the tour.

To see photos of the tour click here.

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Bill Brentnall RN talking to the group