VETERANS were honoured as a parade marked the 72nd anniversary of D-Day.
Around 100 people gathered in St Helen’s Parade, Southsea, for the Royal British Legion’s annual remembrance parade yesterday.
Among them was 97-year-old D-Day army veteran Frank Sims, who had travelled from Reading.
Vivid memories of the 1944 Normandy landings and thoughts of friends who died came back to Mr Sims.
He said: ‘We didn’t have time to think about it. Once we made the landing, it was everybody for himself.
‘We freed a lot of people under the Germans who weren’t treated very well, so they were very glad to see us.
‘I didn’t want to be called up but I had to go where I was told. You had to do it – like it or lump it.’
Sitting in his wheelchair, Mr Sims watched on as former armed forces personnel marched in full uniform along St Helen’s Parade bearing the British standard.
They then stood in formation by the nearby D-Day memorial, where attendees joined together in song, prayer and then held a silence, before poppy wreaths were laid.
Attending the parade, leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Donna Jones, said: ‘We are very lucky to have so many veterans who live here, with Portsmouth being one of the proudest military cities in the world.
‘Having them come here today to march by, to receive the official salute and to hear the trumpeter play The Last Post is quite moving.’
Cllr Jones laid a wreath at the foot of the memorial, as did Conservative Portsmouth South MP, Flick Drummond, and deputy lord mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome.
Ms Drummond said: ‘I have a son in the army and I believe it is really is important that we remember those who gave their lives for us.’