As-it-happened: D-Day commemorations

Key Points

  • D-Day was the start of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied western Europe
  • On 6 June 1944, 156,000 British, US and Canadian forces invaded the coast of northern France
  • The Queen, US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin were among those attending commemorations
  • Hundreds of WW2 veterans also attended
  • As many as 4,000 Allied troops and 9,000 German died in one day
  • All times are in BST (GMT +1)

Join the discussion

Comment here

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.
Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

Terms and conditions


    Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Many events are being held to mark the occasion, including a gathering of world leaders in northern France.

    Landing craft at a D-Day beach

    Landing craft are gathering in the English Channel, as many did when the sun rose on 6 June 1944. About 160,000 Allied troops landed on D-Day.


    About 650 UK veterans are expected to gather at Ouistreham - the beach codenamed Sword - later along with the Queen, US President Barack Obama, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande of France.

    A US flag planted on a beach

    A US flag has been planted on Omaha Beach, where 70 years ago American troops were locked in fierce fighting with German defenders.

    Francois Hollande

    French President Francois Hollande begins the day by paying his respects at a memorial in Caen. World leaders are gathering for a ceremony in Bayeux.


    A remembrance ceremony is under way at Bayeux Cathedral. Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron are among those in attendance from the UK.

    David Cameron, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall

    Veterans are welcomed to the ceremony in Bayeux. The congregation is reminded of "the German soldiers swept up in this tragedy [and] the many victims of the war".

    D Day landings 1944

    Here's a look at how BBC reporters covered the D-Day landings at the time.

    Brigadier David Baines MBE

    In a reading at Bayeux Cathedral, Brigadier David Baines MBE speaks of men who died "with no memorial". He adds: "But these were merciful men whose righteousness has not been forgotten."


    The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, national chaplain to the Royal British Legion, tells the congregation at Bayeux Cathedral younger generations owe veterans a "momentous thank you".

    Betty Lurcook

    emails: I was a Wren on D-Day, trained at Wale Island RN school of Gunnery. A group of us serviced the guns on the landing craft tanks. We re-armed the magazines of the light AA guns and checked every sailor had an identity disc on. The officers had a pistol and there was a rifle aboard. We were then confined to Wren quarters.

    A WW2 jeep on a beach at dawn

    Vintage equipment and people in World War Two uniforms will be seen at many events today - including at Gold Beach at Arromanche.


    HMS Bulwark, the Royal Navy's flagship, has already led a flotilla across the English Channel - and is due to recreate the beach landings. Veteran Bill Bryant is one of those on board, remembering when he stormed the beaches 70 years ago. "Yes we were scared," he tells the BBC.

    Bill Price, 99, on a beach in France

    British veterans including Bill Price, who will be 100 in July, are back on the beaches they stormed 70 years ago.

    Anita Atkinson, Stanhope

    emails: At Stanhope market place a lone piper played to commemorate D-Day and remember the piper who piped the troops into battle at exactly 7.25am on June 6 1944.

    Peter Watts, Queensland, Australia

    emails: I am an ex-Merchant Seaman. I well remember D-Day as a 15-year-old and then living at Dartmouth, South Devon. I joined the Merchant Navy in 1946 and am always surprised at there being no recognition for the Merchant Seamen that manned most of the vessels, not only on D-Day itself but during the whole of the war. Men that were in the Merchant Navy at the outset of war were required to remain in the service. Many, many thousands of those brave men are still hardly recognized. What a pity.

    Michael Schroeder, Florida, US

    emails: My father, Leonard T Schroeder, was in the fourth infantry division and a company commander who landed in the first wave at Utah beach. He was reported by the New York Times and Baltimore Sun at the time to have been the first allied soldier to land on the Normandy beaches. Apparently this originated with general Roosevelt who happened to be on the same landing craft as my father.


    In Arromanches, a service is being held to remember the Dutch soldiers who died in the D-Day invasion. The King and Queen of the Netherlands are at the service, as well as representatives of many other countries.

    Annemarie Begley, Bristol, UK

    emails: My dad was a German prisoner of war in England at this time. My mother was English and so I have mixed emotions, as I have memories of accounts from both sides. My dad was from Dresden. My tears and thoughts are for all those brave young men, whatever nationality, and I feel a great sadness that humans could do this to one another. Let us hope that this never happens again.

    Duncan Brown, Nottingham, UK

    emails: My granddad was part of the landing force on D-Day. Like many, he did not speak of his experiences for years, but when he did, we were immensely proud of his and his generation's achievements. As his landing craft was approaching the beach, he was talking to his friend who was navigating the craft. He turned away to speak to someone else and when he turned back to speak to his friend he was still stood holding the wheel but had been decapitated by a shell. My granddad said he did not have time to think, he just moved his friend's body aside and took control of the craft to ensure it reached the beach. Words can not describe how proud we are of him. His name was Lawrance Buck.


    French President Francois Hollande is honouring civilians killed during the fighting, many of them by Allied bombing raids on occupied France. "This day, which began in chaos and fire, would end in blood and tears, tears and pain, tears and joy at the end of 24 hours that changed the world and forever marked Normandy," he said in the city of Caen.

    French President Francois Hollande in Caen, 6 June
    Janine King, Berkshire, UK

    emails: My father is now 93 and was one of the soldiers who took part in the D-Day landings. He successfully landed on Sword beach and was later injured when the vehicle he was travelling in was attacked. During his recovery he met and was befriended by a French family who lived in the village of Nonant, near Bayeux. Many years later he returned to Nonant to find the family, and their farm became our family holiday destination for many years. My mother died in 1986 and my father returned to Bayeux and married one of the daughters of that same French family and they now live in Bayeux.


    Getty Images has produced this composite image to show a street in Caen as it looked just weeks after the invasion in 1944, and as it looks today.

    Composite image of a street in Caen
    Valerie Aitken, London, UK

    emails: Remembering my dad Sgt Stan Smith of 48 Royal Marine Commando who landed on Juno Beach. My dad was a country boy and couldn't swim. This was a problem when his landing craft was sunk. However, he battled on. He died only last year. Wonderful, wonderful man and dad.

    A veteran in a wheelchair

    In Bayeux, one veteran tells the BBC he feels "very lucky that I'm here". He adds: "My chaps with me, my company commander, they're all dead. They didn't make it."

    Sally Ann Pow, Bristol, UK

    emails: My father, David Pow, was one of the young men who was part of the Normandy landings. He was shot in the stomach, and was subsequently treated and returned home. I am so proud of him, and all the people who played their part, however large or small. I will spend some time today in quiet reflection, because without the dedication and bravery of those involved in the action the outcome of the war would have been very different, and the Nazi regime would have torn the modern world apart.

    Barry Llloyd, Norfolk, UK
    Barry Lloyd

    My dad Dennis Lloyd was a Leading Seaman on-board HMS Belfast on 6th June 1944 so was involved in the shore bombardment. As it happens, it was also his birthday. Although he passed away 20 years ago, we obviously still think of him, particularly on this day.


    The 70th anniversary events will be the last for the Normandy Veterans' Association, which has announced it will disband in November. It says its numbers have fallen from about 15,000 to 600.

    Lorraine Rollett, Derby, UK

    emails: I would like to remember the men from the Lancaster bombers who lost their lives on 6th June 1944. We lost our Uncle Albert Chambers DFC. He was a pathfinder who went out in preparation for the landings. We found his plane only two years ago, where they also found his wedding ring.

    Alan Hutchinson, Brighton. UK

    emails: My father took part in the Italian beach landings, which were successful and diverted the German attention from Northern Europe and therefore helped to make D-Day the success it was.


    The terrible civilian casualties suffered by the French due to Allied bombing up to and during the liberation of France was a taboo subject in France for nearly 70 years. Read John Laurenson's report for BBC News. This photo shows children standing on rubble in Saint Lo, France, August 1944.

    Children standing on rubble in Saint Lo, France, August 1944
    British troops on a beach on D-Day

    Seventy years ago at this moment, Allied troops were pouring on to Normandy's beaches. Almost 160,000 arrived on D-Day and an estimated 2,500 lost their lives in the assault.


    After the ceremony at Bayeux Cathedral, UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says: "It's just humbling to see all these veterans coming up, many in their wheelchairs, walking with absolute determination."


    US President Barack Obama's helicopter has just landed in Colleville-sur-Mer, where 9,387 US service personnel are buried in a war cemetery.

    88-year-old Victor Walker, formerly of HMS Versatile, outside Bayeux Cathedral

    For more images of the D-Day commemoration events, see the BBC's picture gallery.

    Lizzy Corrigan-Lee

    emails: My wonderful father took part in the landings 70 years ago today. Since his death five years ago I have found out that he was very brave, and many of his comrades were helped by him, but he never could talk about it. God bless him and all the other incredibly brave men involved in D-Day.


    The BBC's Tony Brown, who crossed from Portsmouth to Normandy on HMS Bulwark overnight, reaches the French coast on a landing craft and says there is a "sombre mood" among those on board.


    Photographers have been capturing the surviving veterans as they return to France. Here are a few of the pictures.

    Raymond Sylvester, 94, who served in the 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion of the US Army, landed at Utah Beach and is from Auburn, Maine. Here he is on Utah Beach on Thursday.

    Raymond Sylvester, 94, who served in the 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion of the US Army, on Utah Beach, 5 June

    Travis Winfree, 89, who served in the 29th Infantry Division of the US Army, landed at Omaha Beach and is from Hempstead, Texas. On Utah Beach, Thursday.

    Travis Winfree, 89, who served in the 29th Infantry Division of the US Army, on Utah Beach

    James Hamby, who served in the 29th Field Artillery Battalion, 4th Infantry Division of the US Army, landed at Utah Beach and is from Lenoir, North Carolina. On Utah Beach, Thursday.

    James Hamby, who served in the 29th Field Artillery Battalion, 4th Infantry Division of the US Army, on Utah Beach, 5 June
    John Anderson

    The BBC has been asking for your memories of D-Day


    French President Hollande has joined Mr Obama in Colleville to pay tribute at the American war graves.


    Veteran Tony Pyatt, 98, is one of those who took the short bus put on for veterans who can't walk from the cathedral. He starts crying as he talks of the war. "It's too hard to forget, I remember it all. I cry just thinking about it... I'm moved by today, moved," he tells the BBC's Becky Kelly.

    Sue Jewell, Bideford, UK

    emails: My Dad was Able Seaman Bob Allen and was there at the D-Day landings. He rarely spoke about it and died in 2005. Reading this live feed today is very emotional and makes me so proud of him and his fellow servicemen.

    Barack Obama and Francois Hollande

    French President Francois Hollande and his US counterpart Barack Obama arrive for a ceremony at Colleville-sur-Mer. It begins with both countries' anthems being played.

    Women correspondents accredited by the US Army: Mary Welsh, Dixie Tighe, Kathleen Harriman, Helen Kirkpatrick, Lee Miller, and Tania Long

    It wasn't only male journalists who reported on World War Two. The BBC's Lyse Doucet looks at the women determined to report from the front line.


    The 70th anniversary falls at a sensitive time for France, which is under pressure from the US over its contract to supply Russia with two state-of-the-art assault ships, while violence in Ukraine rages. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius tweeted this morning to confirm the delivery would go ahead, saying many (French) jobs were at stake. The news was greeted with anger by pro-Ukrainian bloggers, who accuse Russia of orchestrating the insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Pro-Ukrainian protesters recently picketed the dock in St Nazaire where the Vladivostok is under construction.

    Protester in St Nazaire, France, 1 June
    David Gunn

    emails: At 2am 6th June 1944 my father, then Duty Captain, Royal Navy at the Admiralty picked up his secret telephone to hear Winston Churchill asking him what the weather was going to be like over the Channel. He reassured Churchill that it had significantly improved.

    Greg Handelaar, Essex, UK

    emails: My grandfather, who sadly passed away two years ago, was one of the first men onto Sword beach in his DD tank, having originally lied about his age to enlist. He always used to say that his overriding thought as they reached the beach was the absence of music - having watched war films in 1942 and 1943 there was always some stirring music playing.


    "France will never forget what it owes to these soldiers, what it owes to the United States," Mr Hollande says. "France will never forget the solidarity between our two nations."

    Francois Hollande

    France's President Hollande says troops storming the beaches 70 years ago were faced with a "sea of blood". He says Nazi commanders felt "nothing could harm them" behind their defences, adding: "They could not foresee that in democracies a great ideal gives birth to great bravery."


    Paul Golz was there on D-Day - but on the defending side. The former German soldier was in a foxhole above the beaches. US soldiers captured him a few days later. In retrospect, he believes that being sent to Normandy - rather than the Eastern Front - and being captured by the Americans was a stroke of luck that changed his life, the Associated Press reports.

    German D-Day veteran Paul Golz in his home in  Koenigswinter, Germany, 28 May
    The Queen

    Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Bayeux for D-Day commemorations. A large gathering of world leaders will be held later.


    emails: My Uncle Andrew was with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, the Kosbies. He landed on the 6th of June and was killed on the 10th of June. He was 26-years-old, just married and lived in Galashiels. We have a service for him every year because we are so proud of him.


    President Obama says the American commitment to liberty is "written in blood" on the beaches of Normandy.


    President Obama says the battlegrounds of Normandy represent "democracy's beachhead". He says: "We come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at its moment of maximum peril."

    A D-Day ceremony

    British Royal Family members including the Queen and Prince Charles are attending a ceremony in Bayeux.


    A state visit by the Queen, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the added complication of Russia's alienation from the West over the Ukraine crisis - France's diplomats certainly will have had their hands full organising this week's events, the BBC's Jastinder Khera writes in his guide to pitfalls to avoid. One guest bound to ruffle a few feathers is Russian President Vladimir Putin, seen here arriving in Paris on Thursday.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, 5 June
    French President Francois Hollande (L) and US President Barack Obama (R)

    "By the end of that longest day, this beach had been fought, lost, refought and won," US President Barack Obama says at the US war cemetery on Omaha Beach.

    Queen Elizabeth lays a wreath at a memorial in Bayeux.

    Queen Elizabeth II lays a wreath at a memorial in Bayeux. Politicians, military personnel and veterans follow, laying wreaths of their own.

    Pam Green, Wirral, UK

    emails: I have very fond memories of a beloved Uncle Edward (Max) Morrison to whom I was very close. At the age of 28 he commanded the 8th Irish battalion of the King's regiment. Following a vicious battle to overcome a German battery they took more prisoners than they could believe, far more in number than their group. Uncle Max was awarded the MC for his efforts.

    Lowri Coulten, Norfolk, UK

    emails: My uncle Gruffydd Meirion Jones was in 5 Troop 3 Commando and landed in the second wave on Sword Beach. His unit was involved in recapturing the Merville Battery at huge cost to the unit. He survived Normandy but was killed on 7th April 1945 crossing the River Weser. It is impossible for my generation to fully express the grateful remembrance and gratitude for his sacrifice, and so many thousands and thousands like him.


    On the Eastern Front 70 years ago today, an unsuccessful Soviet offensive against Nazi forces in Romania - the Jassy-Kishinev campaign - was coming to a bloody end, with estimated overall casualties of nearly 200,000. A follow-up push in August ended in a decisive victory for the Soviets, with reportedly even greater casualties.

    Griff Hosker, Stockon on Tees, UK

    emails: My dad was Bill Hosker and he took LC 523 with Number 4 commando. I took dad back in 1994 and he was able to revisit the beaches. He died in 1996 but his ashes are on Sword beach.

    Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting in Deauville, northern France, ahead of attending D-Day ceremonies later.

    Kathryn Owen-Jones

    emails: My thoughts are with my grandfather, Major David Ronald George, who landed on Gold Beach. From there he marched on and fought for the liberation of Caen and then across Germany to liberate Belsen concentration camp. He was involved in the capture of notorious camp commandant Josef Kramer. The horrors of what he saw, heard and smelled do not bear thinking about. Words cannot express how proud I am of him.

    Myra MacCormick, Epping, UK

    emails: My mother, Edna Pead, was a young woman in the WAAF during the war. When the invasion started, volunteers were requested to help in hospitals where injured troops were taken for treatment. There were German troops on the ward as well - they had just brought back everyone who was hurt. My mother was very proud of her war service and talked a lot about her experiences.

    Soldiers in vintage uniforms on a beach

    Men in vintage uniforms have gathered on Gold Beach, where British soldiers landed 70 years ago.


    How is D-Day viewed in Russia? BBC Monitoring has been looking at newspaper coverage of the event. "One would like to hope that nothing has been forgotten," writes veteran TV journalist Vladimir Pozner in the state-owned daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. "One would like to hope that the spirit of that past will put Putin and Obama and Cameron and Hollande in the mood for becoming allies again. One would very much like to hope."

    But Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, writes in the Trud daily: "And when were we ever allies, apart from 1941-1945? In that war we united against a very dangerous opponent. But all the other years have been times of sluggish partnership and thaws or chills in relations. Even when the Ukraine crisis is over, we are unlikely to become firm friends with the West. But neither will Europe and America manage to quarrel with Russia completely - if only because our economies are closely linked."

    Photo shows (from left) Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin in Yalta, 8 February 1945.

    Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin in Yalta, 8 February 1945
    Ian Handley, Norfolk, UK

    emails: As I watch your coverage, I have before me a copy of my Uncle Sandford's memories of D-Day. I think the following excerpt sums up the horror he and many others endured 70 years ago. He writes: "We stormed up the beach and noticed several dead British soldiers at the water's edge, so still. We got to the brow of the beach, to our left was higher ground and the biggest Union Jack I had ever seen flying in the gentle breeze. I remember a cornfield on our right - unharvested, a few yards in was the gruesome sight of a dead young German soldier, his head facing seaward, his face sunburnt from the Normandy sun he had enjoyed a few days earlier. All I wanted to do was be home in Dover with my mother and father, brother and four sisters in our home in Limekiln Street."

    Veterans at a D-Day ceremony

    Veterans are at Bayeux for a D-Day ceremony, one of many being held throughout Friday.

    James Howlett, Reading, UK

    emails: My grandfather was CSM Bill Harold of the 9th Parachute Battalion, an Army PT Instructor, and one of the advance party targeting the Merville Battery. He'd promised their army chaplain (Rev. John Gwinnett) that he'd have a cup of tea ready for him on his arrival, though when the time came he had to carry it to the padre in his teeth, having been shot through both arms and legs.

    Paul H, Maulden, UK

    emails: My uncle was an Officer Pilot in the 524 Squadron Costal Command. He and his unit were involved in the build-up and part of D-Day. He survived D-Day but he, his aircraft and all his crew were lost somewhere over Norway in March 1945. He was just 27, same age as I am now. Could I do what he and thousands of others had to do? I don't think I could.

    Deryn Williams
    Lewis Phillips

    My grandfather - Lewis Phillips. He fought within the No 4 Commando unit and was there during the D-Day landings. We buried him on D-Day last year.


    Adolf Hitler actually welcomed the invasion because it brought the enemy closer, the BBC's Stephen Evans says in a video report from Germany.

    Adolf Hitler with Italian leaders some time in 1944
    Joyce Hopewell, Knutsford, UK

    emails: My cousin Albert Livesey (8th Battalion) parachuted into Normandy on 6th June. He and his fellow paras landed behind the lines in the Bois de Bavent, wide of their target because of the windy weather. They were helped by Gaston le Baron, a young member of the resistance, who hid them in a barn. He had to pretend to be deaf and dumb as he spoke no French, and he left with the family in the exodus following the invasion. He managed to return to his unit and to active service. He was killed by a sniper along the Rhine in April 1944, a month before the war in Europe ended. He was 23. On behalf of our family I thank him and countless others.

    Garry Bowie, Guiseley, UK

    emails: My father, Donald Bowie, was already on the Normandy beaches before the landings took place. He was part of a group of divers and engineers who were landed on the night of the 4th and got to work straight away clearing mines and making safe channels for the landing craft.

    Planes fly over the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Bayeux

    Planes fly over the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Bayeux, where a ceremony attended by Queen Elizabeth II has now finished.

    11:22: Mark Hamilton, Surrey, UK

    emails: My uncle was in the Canadian North Shore New Brunswick Regiment - he came ashore on ''Nan Red'' at 8.10am on the D-Day. It took them 4 hours of bitter fighting to secure the position at a cost of 125 men. These men were incredibly brave and should never be forgotten. My uncle survived the war but passed away 24 years ago. His ashes now rest with his comrades in the Beny sur Mere Canadian War Cemetery.


    In an audio slideshow called Overlord Country, photographer Laurent Troude revisits the beaches for the French daily Liberation, drawing too on dramatic archive photos.

    Andrew Morgan, London, UK

    emails: My great uncle, Gen Sir Freddie Morgan, was the original planner of D-Day. He wrote a book, Overture to Overlord, an interesting account of the planning.


    tweets: So proud that my father (RN OS JX548058) & uncle (Pte 6015716 -killed in Normandy 29/8/45) played their part on #DDay70

    Barack Obama and Francois Hollande

    Presidents Obama and Hollande look out over the English Channel, from which Allied forces came to the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944.

    D Offen, London, UK

    emails: Remembering my gramps, John 'Jack' Cottam, during these D-Day commemorations; also two people he told me about - his sergeant, Les Tyler, who was killed in Normandy aged 23, and Wolfgang Gründel, a German soldier aged 18, whose temporary grave was the first my granddad saw in Normandy. The name of that German soldier stayed with him for the rest of his life.

    Monica Hunter

    emails: My father James Anderson was in the Royal Naval No 3 Commandos and he landed on Juno beach with the Canadians. His job was to set up ship to shore communications. Today, my mum and I will go to lay flowers on his grave.

    US soldiers walking up a beach on D-Day

    Numerous events are being held to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. These US troops were among about 160,000 who landed as part of the largest amphibious assault ever mounted.

    David West, Carshalton, UK

    emails: My father, now aged 87 years, served on board HMS Emerald at Sword beach as a 17-year-old Able Seaman. So proud to know that he was involved in such an historic day.

    Carl Mills, Sheffield, UK

    emails: When my grandfather was working in airfield defence in the south of England, he was writing back to my grandmother, who is still alive today. He was doing this before the impending invasion, and he did not know at that point about the code name or the details of the plan. He was called in to the station commander to explain why he was writing to a Miss D Day. This was my grandmother's maiden name, Miss D Day. Shortly afterwards it all became clear.

    A D-Day event for Canadian troops

    Canadian troops stormed one of the five D-Day beaches - codenamed Juno - and family members of Canadian veterans are holding a ceremony in Bernieres sur Mer.

    Liz Jones, Brecon, UK

    emails: I gave my father a box of stationery one Christmas and wrote on the tag "Autobiography Kit (This is not a joke)". My father said little about the war during his lifetime, but my gift gave him the opportunity to commit his memories to paper. Here is a snippet: "Up on deck the sky was clear with stars twinkling but no moon. Ghostly silhouettes of another small vessel ahead of us and another behind, which must have joined us at the assembly point just south of the Isle Of Wight.... One or two aircraft passed overhead but ignored us. We couldn't see them but heard the drone of their engines. I went below to get some sleep, only to be woken up by the thunderous roar of many explosions."


    Is President Hollande snubbing his political rival Nicolas Sarkozy at the D-Day international ceremony? According to French broadcaster BFMTV, the seating plan on the tribune has been changed to shift Mr Sarkozy, Mr Hollande's predecessor as president, away from the current French leader. Instead of sitting behind Mr Hollande and sharing the limelight, Mr Sarkozy is ending up in the seats reserved for government ministers, the broadcaster says. Mr Sarkozy is seen here in Madrid last month.

    Nicolas Sarkozy in Madrid, 27 May

    Germany's top tabloid, Bild, is running its own live page on D-Day.

    Bild live page on D-Day
    Mark Scott

    tweets: Remembering the significance of D-Day with my Y10 Byrchall High School Historians. Living History. #poignant #DDay70

    A photograph of a beach taken on D-Day as troops jump off a landing craft

    British newspaper the Daily Telegraph is running live coverage as if it was 1944, with updates as the D-Day invasion unfolds. The latest entry at 12:00 is a midday bulletin on the BBC's Home Service which starts: "D-Day has come".


    Speaking to the BBC on board HMS Belfast, Matt Brosnan, of the Imperial War Museum, says the ship is the last remaining British vessel of the D-Day "bombardment force". He adds: "She was firing on D-Day from a distance of about six miles, bombarding German positions... to allow the landing forces to suffer less from German artillery fire."

    Diane Monether, Shropshire, UK

    emails: My father, Ken Monether, was a navigator on the Lancasters and was furious to miss the D-Day landings as he was on leave. He was however part of the brave Bomber Command and today his ashes will be scattered over Northern France from the Lanc. We are so proud of you dad and think of you on your last journey over a country you loved dearly.


    "The landing in Normandy on 6 June 1944 was the prelude to the liberation of France and Western Europe from Nazi domination" - how Bild sums up the event. Just a few decades ago, German coverage of the "Longest Day" was much more subdued. It was both a reminder of defeat and of war crimes, German historian Prof Michael Epkenhans told BBC News. See Bild's info-graphic from the German perspective.

    Beach at Arromanches

    Speaking from Arromanches in northern France, BBC reporter Nelufar Hedayat says it is "hard to imagine" what Allied troops saw on D-Day. "The veterans were here 70 years ago and on their return each one had an astonishing and harrowing story to tell to the many strangers who constantly stop and ask them," she says.


    Bombers and Spitfires are flying overhead in northern France, practising for displays later. Some already gathered there are clapping, say the BBC's Nelufar Hedayat, but one veteran tells her the "thunderous sound" reminds him of a time he would rather forget.

    HMS Bulwark

    Former Royal Marine, Corp Bill Bryant, 89, watched from the deck of HMS Bulwark as the sun rose over Normandy shores earlier, writes the BBC's Caroline Wyatt. The Royal Navy flagship had sailed the English Channel overnight. Mr Bryant had driven a landing craft to the shore 70 years earlier. The contrast with today could not have been greater as he joined many other veterans on Gold Beach, amid a festival atmosphere. The sunshine sparkled on the waves and French families and tourists from across Europe gathered to watch military bands on the main square at Arromanches.

    John Garner, Quorn, UK

    emails: I was born on D Day, so as I celebrate my 70th birthday with my family and closest friends. I give thanks to the men and women of my parent's generation have gave their lives so that we, our children and grandchildren live in freedom. We must not forget the French civilians and the German troops who also lost their live in this campaign.


    Seventy years on... A composite image by Getty Images showing British veteran Geoff Pattison then and now. Mr Pattison, now 90 and living in London, was wounded by a German machine-gun in Normandy a few weeks after the invasion.

    Composite image of British veteran Geoff Pattison in 1944 (l) and today
    The Queen and President Hollande at Chateau de Benouville, Normandy

    President Hollande has been greeting heads of state, including the Queen, as they arrive for a lunch at Chateau de Benouville.

    Sylvia Newham, Bedworth, UK

    emails: My wonderful and kind father, Dennis was so very badly injured on the D-Day Landings. In fact, when he died in 1991, my mum was classed as a war widow. We're so very proud of him and what he did for his country. He rarely spoke about what happened, but we do know that only him and another survived from his patrol. He always said he didn't want to talk about it as he was only 19 and scared to death. He said when they landed all he could hear was the 'aka, aka' of the German gun fire. Whilst trying to get to Caen, him and his comrades were outnumbered and laid low in a field. The Germans saw them and set fire to it with flame throwers. They killed all of them, except my father and his friend. The loss of life was so grave. We have no idea what these brave souls went through so we could remain free of German occupation. God bless dad, you're always in my thoughts and forever in my heart.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and French President Hollande at Chateau de Benouville

    President Hollande greets Russian President Vladimir Putin at Chateau de Benouville.

    Colin Davison, Surrey, UK

    emails: D-Day is always remembered in our house with mixed feelings of sadness and pride. My grandfather, Warrant Officer Henry Kitto DFM, and all the other crewmembers of his Lancaster of 582 Squadron were lost over Normandy on 6th June 1944 as part of pre-landing bombing of the coastal defences.


    There is much interest in a meeting, during events marking the D-Day anniversary, between President Putin and Chancellor Merkel at a Deauville hotel, amid strains over the conflict in Ukraine. "In this discussion, the chancellor expressed that now, after the recognised presidential elections in Ukraine, the time must be used to bring about stabilisation, especially in eastern Ukraine," a German spokeswoman said later in Berlin. "And in this discussion she used the opportunity to remind Russia of its great responsibility in this."

    Angela Merkel meeting Vladimir Putin in Deauville, France, 6 June
    Benedict Cumberbatch

    In a recording available on BBC Radio 4's D-Day Reports website, actor Benedict Cumberbatch reads an original BBC radio news script from 6 June 1944.

    Jacky Regis, Norfolk, UK

    emails: Remembering my Dad, Lenny Griffin of the 1st Royal Norfolk's and all the Veterans. My Dad didn't talk much about the war but he did tell me he landed with the Canadians on Juno Beach and they did not get their feet wet as it landed on the beach. His campaign did not last long as he stood on a phosphorous bomb which burnt all his legs. He said he was one of the lucky ones, his mate was killed right beside him. He was then sent home to recover and then was posted to Cheshire to look after the German POW where he met my mum.


    The BBC is covering the events of D-Day on twitter, as if they were happening now, using archive, photos, news bulletins and quotes. and links.

    Group shot of heads of state at Chateau de Benouville

    The assembled heads of state posed for a group shot before going in for lunch at Chateau de Benouville

    President Obama and the Queen

    President Obama and the Queen make their way up the stairs at Chateau de Benouville.


    A few have caught a little too much sun, writes the BBC's Mark Georgiou at the British cemetery, near Bayeux. But for all the veterans leaving the cemetery the day went well. Fallen comrades have been honoured and the events of 70 years ago remembered.

    Billy McCutcheon
    George McCutcheon with a Centaur tank

    emails: At sword beach and Pegasus bridge are the remains of two Centaur tanks. My father George McCutcheon was one of the men who built the Centaur tanks in Carricfergus, Northern Ireland. The Centaurs are mostly forgotten about.


    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko have met informally for a 15-minute meeting at Benouville, on the sidelines of D-Day commemorations. It comes amid tensions between the two countries.


    How did the Allies pull off D-Day? The BBC's iWonder team explains.

    Ed Miliband and veteran Mark Radley

    Ed Miliband has been talking to BBC News about his father's role in D-Day. The Labour leader spoke a day after meeting veteran Mark Radley, 89, who served with his father Ralph on HMS Hilary on D-Day. "Obviously he's not alive anymore and so it's quite poignant to be here and meeting some of the veterans and meeting people who are the age he would have been if he were alive. He used to talk about what an incredible thing it was seeing all of the ships arriving on D-Day… He was just doing his duty, serving the country as so many people did."


    Mr Putin (right) meeting Mr Poroshenko, with Mrs Merkel's back turned to the camera. Read our breaking story.

    From left: Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin

    Google has hurriedly rushed out a link to D-Day material after failing to honour the 70th anniversary in its famous daily doodle.


    How close did D-Day come to failure? The BBC's iWonder team investigates.

    Gary Harvey, Chelmsford, England

    emails: Thank you to all the Normandy Veterans, we all owe you so much. Thank you seems so inadequate. We are proud of you all.

    Parade in Portsmouth

    Commemorations in the UK include a parade in Portsmouth from the D-Day Stone to Southsea Common. Members of the public have lined the streets to applaud veterans, says BBC Radio Solent's Tim Robinson who has been tweeting from the parade.

    Alex Watson, Bristol, UK

    emails: My Granddad landed at Gold Beach. I would have loved to talk to him about it. 6th June has always been a poignant day in my calendar, even though most 21 year olds have other things to think about. My thoughts are with those brave soldiers who died and those who came back. I cannot begin to imagine how powerful the memories would be.

    The Princess Royal receives a salute from veterans during the Drumhead service The Princess Royal saluted as veterans marched past during a drumhead service

    Thousands of men boarded landing craft at nearby South Parade Pier, Southsea, 70 years ago. The BBC's Nick Higham was in Southsea on Thursday - as was Princess Anne - to remember the town's involvement in D-Day.


    Jeremy Vine's programme on BBC Radio 2 will come live from HMS Belfast from 14:00 BST.

    A man bows to a Normandy campaign memorial

    Events held in the UK include a service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Ben Godfrey, of BBC Midlands Today, tweeted this picture from the site's Normandy campaign memorial.


    Just as the Allies remember one of the defining days of World War Two with solemn ceremonies in Normandy, a video posted on YouTube, and tweeted by Daily Telegraph correspondent Roland Oliphant, shows rebels in the eastern Ukraine town of Kostiantynivka gunning the engine of a WW2 tank on a pedestal. The challenge now seems to be getting it back on the ground.

    Tank in eastern Ukraine

    People visit World War Two landing craft on Arromanches beach.

    People visit World War Two landing craft on Arromanches beach, 6 June

    The main international commemoration event is beginning at Sword Beach, Ouistreham, one of five landing points for Allied troops. It is the most easterly beach of the invasion zone on D-Day. Seventy years ago today, units of the British Third Infantry Division landed.

    French soldiers in the shade of a wall on a sunny day

    The weather on D-Day was a major worry to Allied commanders, but on its 70th anniversary French republican guards are seeking shade from the hot sun as they wait for the start of a ceremony at Sword Beach in Ouistreham.

    French soldiers marching out in preparation for a D-Day commemoriation event

    The commemoration is taking place in a vast arena, specially built for the occasion on Sword Beach. Heads of state and government from 19 countries are arriving to join more than 1,000 D-Day veterans. At least 650 have come from Britain. All of them are now in their late 80s or 90s.

    Soldiers on a parade ground in Normandy

    An hour-long ceremony will feature a 45-minute performance which will include re-enactments of parts of D-Day as well as the path to peace that followed. The performance will include archive footage and dance.

    A group of veterans sitting in a row

    Veterans from many countries are at Sword Beach, where a ceremony attended by many world leaders is set to start.


    President Obama and President Putin are having talks at Benouville Castle, French media report. The international commemoration ceremony may be delayed slightly as a result.


    The arena at Sword Beach is the size of 15 football pitches, built to hold 7,000 invited guests. Some 3,000 of those places are for the veterans who have been allowed to bring two guests each. Some 2,000 are for residents of the towns and cities of Normandy that lost so many thousands of innocent civilians during the battle for Normandy that ensued in the days and months that followed D-Day.

    British veterans at a D-Day remembrance event

    Many British veterans are at the event at Sword Beach, Ouistreham.


    Veterans and their guests are being joined by world leaders including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, President Obama, President Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko received a last-minute personal invitation from French President Francois Hollande.

    The Queen at D-Day events in 1984

    This photo of the D-Day anniversary commemoration in 1984, posted on Twitter, shows the Queen (third from right) in the company of the late US President Ronald Reagan (far right) and President Francois Mitterrand of France (fourth from right).

    French PM Manuel Valls and President Hollande

    The first leaders to arrive are the host, French President Hollande, right, and his Prime Minister, Manuel Valls. The pair shook hands with a line-up of veterans at the Sword Beach arena.

    Geoff Walsh, Wigan, UK

    emails: My grandfather Martin Walsh joined the army in 1937 before the outbreak of war. As a private in The Royal Engineers he was later evacuated from Dunkirk and then took part in the D-Day landings. He died in 1982 and I was never able to tell him how proud I am of him. Last year, we got his army records and I cannot put into words how I felt reading his application form to join the army and his army records. God Bless all of our veterans, wherever they may be.

    William Hague and Philip Hammond

    British government ministers including Philip Hammond (left) and William Hague, with his wife Ffion, are at the ceremony in Ouistreham.


    The talks between Mr Obama and Mr Putin were informal and lasted 10 to 15 minutes, the White House says. It was their first face-to-face meeting since the start of the crisis in Ukraine.

    Angela Merkel

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a warm round of applause as she entered the arena. Historian and journalist Robert Hardman told the BBC there was very clearly a feeling of reconciliation, a real sense that time had moved on. There were up to 10,000 German casualties during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. Former chancellor Gerhard Schroder was the first German leader to attend an international D-Day commemoration 10 years ago.

    The Queen

    Queen Elizabeth II leaves for the Sword Beach ceremony where she will hundreds of veterans and politicians from many countries.


    Paul Golz, the German D-Day veteran AP interviewed, is in Ouistreham for the commemoration.

    Paul Golz at the Sword beach site in Ouistreham, France, 6 June
    President Putin arrives

    Commentator Robert Hardman told the BBC that Russian President Putin was at the commemoration to remember 27 million lives lost.

    Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall

    Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the ceremony, where French President Francois Hollande is greeting the dignitaries.


    Some more photos of the Allied veterans in France today.

    British veteran Robert McLaughlin in Ouistreham.

    British veteran Robert McLaughlin in Ouistreham, 6 June

    British veteran Ted Bootle in Ouistreham.

    British veteran Ted Bootle in Ouistreham, 6 June

    Canadian veteran Richard Brown in Ouistreham.

    Canadian veteran Richard Brown in Ouistreham, 6 June

    Welsh veteran Emrys Davis in Ouistreham.

    Welsh veteran Emrys Davis in Ouistreham, 6 June

    Police say an 89-year-old British D-Day veteran who went missing after being told by care home staff that he could not attend the anniversary commemorations has been found - in Normandy. The man, who has not been named, was reported missing from a care home in Hove on Thursday. It is believed he went out wearing his war medals under a raincoat. Police say they have spoken to the man and are satisfied he is safe and able to return to Hove once the D-Day commemorations are complete.

    President Obama

    President Obama received one of the warmest receptions of all the leaders. Some 73,000 US troops landed in Normandy on D-Day.

    Ellen Mauro, Journalist at CBC News

    tweets: Large screen showing ceremonies displays a split shot of @BarackObama and Putin. Gasps, some laughs from crowd.


    A World War Two German tank churns up sand for the onlookers.

    A WW2 German tank on Arromanches beach, Normandy, 6 June
    The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen and President Hollande

    The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh - who saw action in World War Two - were the last to arrive. As they arrived, a military band played British music hall song It's a Long Way to Tipperary. The duke's uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was involved in the early planning of D-Day.


    Live-time coverage of the day in history is continuing on the website of German tabloid Bild: "16:00 - Hitler lets the tanks roll".

    Page from Bild site
    Francois Hollande

    President Hollande addresses the crowd at Sword Beach. He says the event is for the victims of Nazism - military and civilian, Allied and German.


    President Hollande says the ceremony is being held to "celebrate reconciliation, reunion and the tribute we must pay to all the veterans who are here with us today". He adds: "I first wish to welcome our veterans because they are the living witnesses of what happened on 6 June 1944."


    President Hollande says young men faced "hell" on D-Day but moved forward without hesitation to defeat a "diabolical regime".


    President Hollande says Friday's ceremony is "absolutely unique because of its magnitude" and that it is "also exceptional because of the extra fervour it has been creating". "It is a duty of memory for all the victims, whether military or civilian, whether Allied or also even here the German victims of Nazism," he adds. He says he wants to "convey a message of peace".


    As Russia's Vladimir Putin looks on, President Hollande pays tribute to the courage of Russian soldiers who fought Nazism far from the D-Day beaches on Germany's eastern front.


    President Hollande tells the ceremony: "I want, in the name of France, to salute those who are present here today. Thank you. Thank you for being there in 1944. Thank you for still being here... You will always be here, your spirit, on these beaches."

    The Queen meeting a veteran

    Before the ceremony started Queen Elizabeth II met veterans.


    Mr Hollande said soldiers who landed in Normandy 70 years ago shared a dream - "the promise of a world free of tyranny and war but it was also the dream of a society that would be more just and more fraternal".

    Sam Claflin, Actor

    tweets: #DDay70 - There are so many heroes from the allied forces who helped shape this world into what it is today. I tip my hat. Thank you.


    Here is another photo of Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko in the proximity of Vladimir Putin. This time, without Angela Merkel. Behind Mr Putin is Belgium's caretaker Prime Minister Elio di Rupo.

    Petro Poroshenko (left) walks past Vladimir Putin in Ouistreham, 6 June
    Janice Hahn, US Rep from California's 44th congressional district and Democratic Party member

    tweets: It is an incredible honour to join my colleagues and the President in #Normandy to mark the anniversary of D-Day. #DDay70

    Debbie Wilson, Horndean, UK

    emails: My father Sgt George Bush was a first wave D-Day lander at Gold Beach with B Coy, 2nd Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment. He is too frail to attend the 70th commemorations but is watching the coverage in Liverpool. He said he is there in spirit today. A lot of veterans are at home watching and deserve to be recognised and mentioned.

    Performance at Sword Beach

    The 7,000 guests at Sword Beach are watching dancers performing against a backdrop of giant screens showing archive footage.

    Performers at Sword Beach ceremony

    The mass performance piece being watched by veterans and world leaders on Sword Beach is meant to "evoke the events of 1944 and the future of Europe", according to a local official in Ouistreham.

    Dick Durnbin, Senior United States Senator

    tweets: The sacrifice & bravery of the heroes who landed in Normandy, France 70 years ago today will never be forgotten #DDay70

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived at Arromanches for a tea party with veterans.

    Mark Udall, United States Senator, Colorado

    tweets: Remembering #WWII #veterans on 70th anniv. of #DDay. Their valor & sacrifice at #Normandy will never be forgotten. #DDay70

    Prince William
    Duke of Cambridge

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are having tea with veterans ahead of a commemorative service and flypast in Arromanches later.


    Germany's Spiegel magazine has a fascinating gallery of the "technology that made D-Day possible", featuring archive photos of specially equipped tanks and other hardware.

    Basil Tarrant

    Chris Tarrant has been speaking to the BBC's Sian Williams in Arromanches about the role of his father Basil - who was awarded the Military Cross for bravery - in the D-Day landings. The emotional TV presenter, wearing his late father's military tie, says he rarely spoke about the war. "We were incredibly close, he was very extrovert, he was certainly my best friend and the war was just a no-go area." He adds: "They just closed the book in 1945 and got on with their lives."

    NASA Langley Research Center in the USA
    B-24 plane

    tweets: Researchers for our predecessor NACA worked on #DDay70 #dday planes, including B-24. @NASAhistory

    Artists perform at D-Day commemoration

    French-language tweeters are divided over the performance at Sword Beach. "Truly excellent" writes one while for another it is "surprising". But according to another blogger, it is "faintly ridiculous and soporific" and someone else finds it "perplexing".

    Jay Nixon, Governor of Missouri, United States

    tweets: Must never forget courage & sacrifice of US soldiers who landed in Normandy on 6/6/44 to liberate Europe. #DDay70


    Meanwhile, the performance at the Sword Beach commemoration concludes with a flypast.

    People perform as fireworks burst in the sky on the beach of Ouistreham, Normandy

    For more images of the commemorations, take a look at our picture round-up of the day so far.


    It will be distasteful to some but tweeters in France are posting with a tag #ImagineTwitterEn1944 (English: Imagine Twitter in 1944). "I'm at Omaha Beach. Check in via Foursquare," writes one. "Finally got the right to vote," writes a woman (women's suffrage did indeed only come to France that year). "I hate to be a spoiler but it ends with the Allies winning and Hitler dying," is another tweet. The French magazine Le Point sums up the idea as "the Longest Day in 140 characters max".

    Screenshot from Le Point site
    Sian Comben, Aylesbury, England

    emails: We have found today very moving, as my father, Stanley Haslam, was involved in the D-Day landings. He was 19 years old and drove landing craft onto Gold Beach. He sadly is no longer with us, but we are immensely proud of him and the part he played.

    16:55: Anthony G. Brown, Democratic Party politican and Governor of Maryland, United States

    tweets: 70 yrs ago today, thousands gave their lives to protect the ideals of freedom & democracy that make America the country we all love #DDay70


    Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is seen here embracing German Chancellor Angela Merkel while another former president, Valery Giscard D'Estaing, looks on.

    Nicolas Sarkozy embracing Angela Merkel on Sword Beach, 6 June

    A remembrance ceremony has begun in Arromanches town centre with an address from British historian Dan Snow. "It's hard to believe that 70 years ago, the ground we are standing on was part of a battlefield. All around us, 150,000 men were disembarking from landing craft, wading through these cold then choppy waters along 60 miles of coastline. Seventy years ago last night, more than 20,00 men had jumped from aircraft or landed, well crash-landed, in fairly flimsy gliders across a wide area inland facing unimaginable terror."

    Bernard Jordan

    BBC Newsnight has tweeted that Bernard Jordan has been confirmed as "the care home resident who snuck off to Normandy". The 89-year-old, a former mayor of Hove, was reported missing by his Hove nursing home on Thursday night - but was found in Ouistreham at the D-Day commemorations. Sussex Police have denied earlier reports that the pensioner had been told he could not attend.

    Paraded through Arromanches town centre

    British veterans, watched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have paraded through Arromanches town centre.


    Here's a timeline of D-Day - how the beginning of the end of WW2 unfolded.

    Sainte Mere Eglise, the first French town to be liberated by Allied forces.
    17:19: Martyn Vevers, Carlisle , England

    emails: I'm getting married in Minneapolis at 1pm, 7pm UK time today. When I make my groom's speech, I am going to remember this very special 70th anniversary,

    Duke of Cambridge

    The Duke of Cambridge begins his speech in Arromanches by telling veterans: "It is a very great honour for me to address you." He says the landing beach in the town represented the "first breach of the enemy's Atlantic wall. Through this breech the torrents of victory and eventual freedom would flow."


    Prince William says it is important to pay tribute to veterans of all countries, adding: "It is essential too that we never forget the friends and companions of those veterans who gave everything on 6 June and during the days and months that followed."


    The service in Arromanches is being led by the Rev Mandy Reynolds, national chaplain of the Normandy Veterans Association.

    three veterans

    Veterans gathered sing a hymn at the service in Arromanches.

    Service in Arromanches

    The Last Post rings out across the square in Arromanches.

    Duke laying a wreath

    After a moment of silence, the Duke of Cambridge lays the first wreath in the ceremony.


    Wreaths are also dedicated to France, the people of Arromanches and the Normandy Veterans Association.


    Elsewhere, what did the world leaders have for lunch in Normandy? French broadcaster France 3 has published photos on its Lower Normandy site of dishes served in Benouville - and the chefs who prepared them.

    Dinner dish for D-Day banquet
    The chefs
    17:38: Karen, Dereham, Norfolk

    emails: My grandfather served in the Royal Engineers and spent his 26th birthday fighting on the beaches of Normandy. Thank you granddad and to all of your brave comrades for the sacrifices that you made.


    Another hymn, Eternal Father, Strong to Save, is sung by the congregation at Arromanches.

    Enid March

    Enid March, from the Surrey branch of the Normandy Veterans Association earlier read a poem written by a veteran.

    "Soldiers, airmen, sailors, airborne and marine; In 'civvy' life were tailors and men who worked machines.

    "British, Canadian and men from the USA; forces from the Commonwealth, all were there that day."


    A choir has led the singing of hymns, before veterans now say the prayer of the Normandy Veterans Association.


    The congregation is now singing the national anthems of both France and the United Kingdom.


    Veterans across the square are now taking part in a "little bit of community singing", with a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory.


    A few memories from those who took part in the invasion. D-Day veteran Fred describes being surprised to see so many dead soldiers in the sea and being hit by a German bomber. You can watch his interview here.


    And now a mass singing of Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again and then Auld Lang Syne.

    17:52: George Kieffer, Billericay, Essex

    emails: Had it not been for the valiant sacrifice and courage of all those who landed in Normandy to free Europe, my parents in Luxembourg might never have been freed and I might never have been born. I owe all of them a deep debt of gratitude and admiration.


    A statement has just been released by the care home in Hove at the centre of the story about the 89-year-old WW2 veteran reported missing when he travelled to Normandy for the D-Day commemorations.


    Peter Curtis, CEO, says: "Gracewell Healthcare can confirm that The Pines care home resident Bernard Jordan attended the D-Day commemorations in Normandy today.

    "Mr Jordan has full capacity which means that he can come and go from the home as he pleases, which he does on most days. At no stage was he banned from going to the commemorations."


    The care home statement continues: "In fact staff at the home tried to get Mr Jordan on to an accredited tour with the Royal British Legion but due to the last minute nature of the request this was not possible.

    "Mr Jordan was reported missing to the police yesterday evening as a matter of caution because he did not return from his normal trip to town and when he left had not told us he was still intent on trying to get to Normandy."


    The statement regarding the temporarily "missing" veteran, Bernard Jordan, concludes: "At Gracewell Healthcare we celebrate the individuality of our residents' lives and are in awe of the part Mr Jordan played in the D-Day invasion 70 years ago."

    scene at Arromanches

    The service has finished but there are still thousands of people gathered on the shore at Arromanches.


    Another war veteran, Ted, tells the BBC about his D-Day experiences and how he returned to Normandy to lay crosses on the graves of his friends for years after. His interview with the BBC's Sian Williams can be watched here.

    18:07: Nicola Hammond

    of veterans' charity SSAFA tweets this image of rehearsals for tonight's D-Day commemoration concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to be broadcast on BBC Radio 2.

    Royal Albert Hall D-Day concert rehearsal

    A lovely line from war veteran Frank, who tells the BBC: "I've really enjoyed today. The people are out of this world. Perhaps we earned it - I don't know."


    Eddie Butler, in Arromanches, says it is a small place of around 600 residents, but that it is "bulging at the seams today".

    18:11: Heather Strachan, Leeds, England

    emails: Today is a really emotional day for many of us and I pray that even if there is no repeat of this year's celebrations due to the frailty and dwindling number of veterans, let us never forget the courage and sacrifice of our wonderful servicemen, may they never be forgotten.


    The BBC's Huw Edwards says "we are not going to see an event like this again".

    Helen Fry

    Historian Helen Fry tells the BBC that veterans will leave Normandy today knowing that they will never be forgotten. "I think there won't be a single person watching at home that won't be touched. (At) various points in the day I think each of us that have been here in Normandy have felt that tear come to the eye."

    18:17: Terry Maker

    emails: Please remember, all of the men like my late step-father in law, Eugene Cassidy, who went in on the night of the 5th of June, with the Mulberry Harbours. He was a civilian docker from the London Docks, and volunteered.

    Roderick Bailey

    Historian Roderick Bailey continues the reflective tone of today's events, telling the BBC: "Today accomplishes two things really, it commemorates the anniversary but it also acknowledges the men who are here today and I think that is terribly important."


    The BBC's Eddie Butler says there is a queue now in the square in Arromanches to look at the wreaths that were laid earlier, including one by the Duke of Cambridge.

    18:25: Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

    tweets I pay tribute to extraordinary courage of Allied troops who fought on Normandy beaches and beyond to free our continent #DDay70

    18:32: Robert Stevens, Preston, England

    emails: I have been thinking about my dad. He was in the first wave with the Hampshire Regiment. I'm told he was very scared because he knew what was coming and was determined to look after the very young soldiers in his charge. D-Day + 2 weeks, he was badly wounded and came back for treatment. His remaining family are very proud of him.

    President Obama greets veterans

    BBC Newsnight's diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban considers the different meanings of D-Day for those mixing in Normandy - from presidents to veterans.

    18:46: Cathy Webber

    emails from Essex: My dad, Albert Robert Dunn, went in on day two. He went via Caen, through the Ardennes. He was one of the first British troops to liberate Belsen. That, he said, was the worst thing he saw and something that should never ever be forgotten.


    In Paris, heads of state are arriving for a banquet at the Elysee Palace. Queen Elizabeth II and President Hollande are due to speak at the final event commemorating the "Longest Day".

    Historian and presenter Dan Snow

    tweets: Earlier today, a lucky moment at #Dday70:

    Vintage planes in blue skies with halo effect

    The BBC's Sophie Hutchinson has visited a school in Staffordshire - 300 miles from the Normandy beaches - where pupils have been learning about the D-Day landings. Our correspondent said the youngest known British casualty of World War 2 was a boy on a merchant navy ship who was 14 - the same age as some pupils in a class she visited.

    School pupil

    One boy at the school said: "I think today's society wouldn't have that sort of courage because obviously a lot of people think of teenagers these days, they sit back, they're on the Xbox." He said those who served in World War 2 "tried to make a difference to that country which I think doesn't happen as often in our country today".

    School pupil

    Another pupil at the school said: "If someone said 'there's a war going on can you come and help' I would just be like 'what's happened, what's going on'? But obviously they didn't have much detail and they just went straight off and did what they had to do and hats off to them, they did it."

    10 Downing Street

    tweets: As #DDay70 commemorative events draw to a close, take a look at our photo gallery of the day

    Maureen McLean, Lyme Regis, England

    Some lovely shop window displays in Lyme Regis in honour of #DDay70 with bunting and flags

    Bunting in Lyme Regis

    If you're just joining us and want a quick catch-up on events commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day, here are the key moments.

    Key moments of D-Day 70th anniversary
    Jonathan Amos, BBC science correspondent

    tweets: France's Pléiades satellite looks down today on "Sword Beach" Ouistreham, Normandy

    Satellite view of Ouistreham
    Toby, Lagos, Nigeria

    emails: The African soldiers in World War Two gave their life for a free world - they came from all over Africa. They fought and died for a better world. How come at today's anniversary, not one African soldier was mentioned?

    Dame Vera Lynn and Katherine Jenkins

    Radio 2's commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day will culminate with a special Friday Night Is Music Night from London's Royal Albert Hall at 20:00 BST. Hosts Jeremy Vine, Dermot O'Leary and Louise Minchin will retell the story of key moments of D-Day with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Katherine Jenkins will sing a virtual duet with Dame Vera Lynne on We'll Meet Again. Dame Vera's part will be taken from a vintage recording. The event will also be screened on the BBC's red button service and at cinemas across the UK.

    David Cameron

    tweets: Spectacular end to the #DDay70 ceremony at Sword Beach with HM The Queen, @BarackObama & hundreds of heroic veterans.

    Aerial display team
    The German Embassy in Paris

    tweets this image of the end of the ceremony at Ouistreham.

    Ouistreham pyrotechnics

    An 88-year-old former desert rat has told of the moment he kissed the Duchess of Cambridge at a tea party in Arromanches earlier. When the duchess sat down to speak to Arthur Jones, of Wolverhampton, he asked: "Is it OK to kiss a princess?" She replied: "Of course it is." He later said the kiss on the cheek was "a lovely kiss".

    The Duchess of Cambridge
    The Wall Street Journal

    tweets an image of thousands of rose petals being dropped over the Statue of Liberty in New York, organised by the group 'The French Will Never Forget'.

    Petals fall over Lady Liberty
    Barack Obama

    tweets: "We come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty." - President Obama on the 70th anniversary of D-Day


    Queen Elizabeth II has arrived at the Elysee Palace for the state banquet and is seated next to French President Francois Hollande.

    The Queen arrives

    After a speech by President Hollande, the Queen spoke about the relationship between the UK and France. She said those present were "stirred by the day's commemoration" and felt "sorrow and regret remembering the loss of many fine young soldiers, sailors and airmen". She repeated some of the speech in French.

    Queen Elizabeth II and President Hollande

    The Queen spoke of pride "in the men who stormed those beaches" and "thankfulness knowing that today our nations are free and sovereign" because of allied efforts. She said the UK and France were "joined together by the common experience of struggle, sacrifice and reconciliation".


    "The true measure of all our actions is how long the good in them lasts," the Queen said. "Each year has compounded in Europe the benefits of our victory in the Second World War since it enables our subsequent successes and our achievements." Therefore "those heroic deeds will stand out as much in 700 years as they do after 70", she said.

    The Queen and President Hollande

    The Queen ended her speech by quoting Rudyard Kipling's 1913 poem France. "First to follow truth and last to leave old truths behind, France, beloved of every soul that loves its fellow kind," she said, adding: "And I ask you to join me in a toast to the French republic, to the president and to the people of France."


    Meanwhile, Evening Standard defence correspondent Robert Fox says that, "in a few years' time, the last veterans will fade away altogether, as have the veterans of the First World War". He adds: "That conflict is now beyond the testimony of living witnesses, and is history."

    Evelyn Boyle, Hertford, England

    emails: My dad was dropped into France on 6th June. I spent last night trying to imagine what it was like for those young men sitting in the Dakota, knowing that they would soon have to jump out into the dark, behind enemy lines. It must have been terrifying. Dad was in France for some time before taking a bullet in the leg. He must have seen some awful sights, but all his stories were about the funny side of Army life. We are incredibly proud of him.

    Katherine Jenkins and Patrick Stewart

    On Radio 2 now, you can listen to a D-Day themed edition of Friday Night Is Music Night with the BBC Concert Orchestra from London's Royal Albert Hall. The story of key moments of D-Day are being be retold by guests including Katherine Jenkins and Patrick Stewart, who is reading the speeches of Winston Churchill. You can watch the concert online now and on the BBC's red button service.

    Nicholas Davies, Arundel, England

    emails this postcard, sent by his great grandfather, Lance Corporal Charles David, serving with the Royal Artillery. Dated 1944, on the back it reads: 'This is the place where I landed in France'.

    Postcard and medals
    Joe Biden, US vice-president

    tweets: The courage of the warriors who fought for our freedom on D-Day remains timeless. We will forever say thank you. -VP

    Veterans in families with VP Biden in a war cemetery
    88-year-old Victor Walker, formerly of HMS Versatile, outside Bayeux Cathedral Victor Walker, 88, formerly of HMS Versatile, was among those who also attended a service at Bayeux Cathedral

    That's it for our coverage of the D-Day commemorations. It's been a memorable day. The heroes of D-Day - which led to the liberation of Europe - were joined by world leaders and heads of state as thousands remembered the courage shown and the sacrifices made on the beaches of Normandy 70 years ago. As the Queen said in her speech at the Elysee Palace in Paris, there has been "sorrow and regret remembering the loss of so many fine young soldiers, sailors and airmen" and "pride at the sheer courage of the men who stormed those beaches, embodied in the veterans amongst us". Thank you for joining us. And many thanks for all your many contributions. For an overview of the day, please read our main news story.


Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.