FORMER servicemen were joined by members of the public to remember those who served on D-Day.

Among those paying their respects was veteran Denis Wears who was one of the fortunate soldiers to survive the assault on the Normandy beaches.

The 94-year-old, who served with the 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry B Company, said he was one of the 'lucky' ones who survived the campaign which began the liberation of German-occupied France from German control.

And as the Last Post played at the service at Redcar, he spoke of the day when he and comrades landed on Golden beach.

He said: “I was the last one off the invasion barge, the lads on the front were the first ones of the boat and they were the first ones that got killed. I was lucky, I was at the back so I missed it.

“What got me was that most of the lads didn’t stand much of a chance on the first landing – they got massacred.

“Thank god that I’m out of it. At the time I was 17 and a half, the youngest lad we had was 16, he was with his brother, and they didn’t get off the beach at all.”

Reflecting on the commemoration service he said: “At my age, I feel sorry for these young ’uns coming up with the way things are – that’s who I feel sorry for because there’s nothing for them is there?

“One thing that I will say is that I’ve had a good life, I’ve seen what it was like before the war and what a hard life it was then, and I’ve seen what it is like now and to me the best time was before the war – things are more harder now than they used.”

When asked whether he thought fighting the war was worth it, he replied: “Yes, I think it was. If we hadn’t done it where would Germany be now? They would be over England wouldn’t they? We had to do something but like I say, it won’t happen again. It’s history isn’t it, it will never happen again.”

Standard bearers and veterans marched to the venue and speeches were delivered by Alan Frankland, President of the Redcar Branch of the Royal British Legion and Redcar and Cleveland Mayor Councillor Billy Wells.

Dave Blissett, Redcar Branch Treasurer and Poppy Appeal Organiser, said: “This shows that the men and women who served on D-Day and through the Second World War will never be forgotten in Redcar and Cleveland."