Memorial events to be held across Scotland to mark 80th anniversary of D-Day

Memorial events are being held across Scotland on the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The Normandy landings, officially named Operation Overlord, took place on June 6 1944 and marked the start of the end of the Second World War.

Events will be held in Usher Hall, Edinburgh, as well as Garlieston, Dumfries and Galloway, to mark the loss of thousands of Allied troops during the air and sea attack on the Nazis, while First Minister of Scotland John Swinney will attend an event in Normandy.

Veterans who served in D-Day will participate in some of the events, including Lance Corporal Cyril “Lou” Bird, 100, who was a 20-year-old tank driver in the 5th Royal Tank Regiment when he landed on Gold Beach, and said he was “frightened to death”.

(PA Graphics)

He said that contributing to peace in Europe made the war “worthwhile”.

Speaking ahead of the anniversary, Mr Bird said: “I hope that persists, and if it really is persistent, we did a wonderful job, the war was worthwhile.”

On Thursday, Mr Swinney will attend the first National Commemoration ceremony to be held at the British War Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer in France, and said education around D-Day was essential “so we can ensure such a conflict is never repeated”.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Swinney said: “Scotland owes a great debt of gratitude to all those who served during the Second World War, especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Were it not for the actions of these brave men and women 80 years ago, we would not enjoy the freedoms which we now take for granted.

“It is important that current and future generations continue to learn of the events that took place in Normandy so that we ensure such a conflict is never repeated.”

Scotland’s Salute: A Tribute To D-Day 80, at Usher Hall, will feature music from His Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Scotland and the Military Wives Choir and was organised by Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland.