Marines storm Southsea beach in honour of D-Day forces

Fresh rallying cry to save Portsmouth’s naval history from decay

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ROYAL Marines and sailors from the Royal Navy have stormed Southsea beach as part of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

The amphibious assault took place to demonstrate the abilities of the Armed Forces and to salute the servicemen’s predecessors of 70 years ago who mounted the invasion of Normandy.

Royal Marines on Southsea beach

Royal Marines on Southsea beach

Today’s demonstration took place at a landing point near to Clarence Pier and was watched by the thousands of people who had gathered on Southsea Common for the commemorative drumhead service attended by Princess Anne.

The Royal Marines landing craft which landed at Southsea had launched from HMS Bulwark, along with members of the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps from the Dutch vessel HNLMS Johan de Witt.

Two Sea King helicopters also landed on the common as part of the display.

Antony Stott, 93, who served in the RAF, and landed on D-Day+1 at Juno, watched the display with his son, Peter Stott, 51, from Southsea.

Mr Stott Senior said: “It’s been interesting. It was much less noisy today than it was back then.”

He explained that his role was to set up one of the first landing strips and he spent six to seven weeks in France.

He said: “It was a job that had to be done and I like to think we did it properly.”

His son said: “I am immensely proud of my dad. He’s very modest but, while growing up, he would regale us with stories, but being here today makes it more real, especially for the younger generations coming through, particularly as it is possibly the last time the veterans will be able to gather like this.

“For me it’s been an emotional day and it’s right they are remembered in a respectful way.”

Click here for details of the 70th anniversary supplement published by The News to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day

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