Mayor of Gosport speaks of pride as town welcomes D-Day 70 participants

HMS Duncan has returned to Portsmouth after spending three months in the Mediterranean Picture:  L/Phot Louise George

HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth after three months away at sea

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THE generosity of the people of Gosport was in no doubt last night as airmen from across the world were given a home for the D-Day commemorations.

Ninety-three families from the Gosport area volunteered to provide accommodation for air crew and parachutists who will be taking part in the ceremonies over the next two days.

All parties converged at St Faith’s Church, in Lee-on-the-Solent, and were treated to wartime melodies sung by the local choir.

The Mayor of Gosport, John Beavis, was there and said the atmosphere was ‘lovely’.

‘There were families from all over Gosport who offered accommodation,’ he said.

‘They were numbered in order round the church from one to 90.

‘Some took two or three airmen, others just took one.

‘Every single one of them that turned up was given accommodation.

‘They are going to be well looked after.

‘They have come from all over – there were French, Americans, Brits, Norwegians.’

He said he was proud of the people of Gosport, Lee and Hillhead for showing their hospitality.

A memorial service takes place at the war memorial in Lee-on-the-Solent from 6.30pm today with a flypast at 7.15pm.

It is expected to include RAF’s Lancaster, Spitfires and Dakota.