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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Luckily my dad came back

AN ARMY veteran who watched the D-Day landings from his grandmother’s house, has urged people to take time and remember those who lost their lives during the attack.

ptfarmerdday
Peter Farmer: ‘We could see the ships going across the sea but didn’t know what they were for. I can say I have seen it, but I didn’t know it at the time’

Peter Farmer, 79, of Morton, Carlisle, a former mayor of the city, was just 10 when he was mesmerised by the flashes of gunfire and the sound of bullets flying on the beaches of Normandy.

His grandmother’s house was on top of a hill on the Isle of Wight, overlooking the English Channel, giving Mr Farmer a perfect view of ships sailing to the beaches.

“We could see the flashes of gunfire on clear parts of the day and if it was very clear we could hear the explosions,” he recalled.

“We could see the ships going across the sea but didn’t know what they were for. I can say I have seen it, but I didn’t know it at the time.”

As the UK yesterday commemorated 70 years on from one of World War Two’s most famous days, Mr Farmer, a former officer with the Royal Army Medical Corps, is calling on people not to forget the sacrifice made by the thousands of soldiers.

He said: “A lot of people lost their lives so we can have the life that we do now. My father went to Normandy the day after D-Day and was the first medical corps officer land there. Luckily he came back – but a lot didn’t.

“Had the Allies lost, we have seen pictures of the Holocaust and the way they treated Jewish people, we would have had to put up with something like that.

“It is as important now as it ever was, but people are more aware at the moment because of the close proximity to the 100th anniversary of World War One.”

Mr Farmer added: “We veterans remember it every year.”

There were no planned commemorative events in the Carlisle area.

Opinion: Page 12

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