D-Day 70: Veteran watches Royal Marines beach landings with pride

(L-r) Lieutenant Colonel Richard Maltby meets John Langdon.
(L-r) Lieutenant Colonel Richard Maltby meets John Langdon.
Crew on board HMS Queen Elizabeth Picture: PA

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SEVENTY years ago John Langdon was one day away from storming Sword beach in Normandy.

And today at Southsea Common the 93-year-old Royal Marine watched serving marines carry out amphibious landings with pride.

He met Lieutenant Colonel Richard Maltby, commander of 4 Assault squadron.

Mr Langdon, who was 23 at the time of the landings, said: ‘When I thought of buying my rail ticket and coming down here - I thought did I really want to come down for a reminder of what happened?

‘There was such a terrible slaughter. It’s a reminder of the people that died.

‘We were lucky to get our boat up and get away out of it.’

But Mr Langdon, of Ripon, North Yorkshire, added it was an important occasion and he was pleased to meet serving marines.

‘At the same time - once a marine, always a marine,’ he said.

‘It’s great to be meeting people from another generation.’

Lt Col Maltby added: ‘It’s fantastic.’