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First Minister pays tribute to Welsh sacrifice on D-Day anniversary

First Minister Vaughan Gething yesterday represented Wales at an event in France to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The First Minister yesterday attended the national commemoration at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy, where D-Day veterans and 2,000 guests payed tribute to those who died.

He then visited the town of Asnelles to pay his respects at the memorial to the South Wales Borderers (SWB), the only Welsh unit to land on D-Day. The First Minister took part in a commemoration alongside the Mayor of Asnelles and lay wreaths for the SWB and the Royal Welsh Regiment, which traces it roots back to the SWB.

D-Day was the successful allied invasion of the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944. Codenamed Operation Neptune, the Normandy landings made up the largest seaborne invasion in history and played a crucial role in liberating Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

The First Minister yesterday said:

Today we remember all who served in the Normandy campaign, a multi-national effort and a pivotal moment in securing the end of the war. Many families in Wales will feel a connection to today’s anniversary, through family stories passed down from one generation to the next.

We of course remember the many soldiers from Wales who fought in the War, including the South Wales Borderers, who heroically advanced the furthest inland of all the units who landed on the Normandy beaches on D-Day.

I am also honoured today to meet some of the few remaining service personnel who took part in D-Day in 1944. Their sacrifice led us to the relative peace we live in today. For this we are eternally grateful.

Maj Gen Chris Barry CBE, Colonel of The Regiment, The Royal Welsh, yesterday said:

The Royal Welsh are deeply honoured that the First Minister will lay a wreath at the 2nd Battalion, The South Wales Borderers (SWB) Memorial at Asnelles to commemorate their landing on D Day on 6th June 1944.

The 2nd Battalion successfully achieved their military objectives after landing and made the most progress on Day 1 of the operation to restore the territorial integrity of the Allies. It is only right and fitting that we honour those Welsh Warriors across the regimental family that gave the ultimate sacrifice in restoring peace to Europe.

 

Channel website: http://gov.wales

Original article link: https://www.gov.wales/first-minister-pays-tribute-to-welsh-sacrifice-on-d-day-anniversary

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