As some of you will know, for the past 4 years I’ve been involved in setting up pilgrimages for Normandy veterans on the anniversary of the D-Day Landings June 1944.
This year we found this chap at the last minute. His name is Ron and at 95 years of age he lives in a care home in Liverpool. He is weak in body but his mind is razor sharp and he told me a bit of his story…
In December 1939 he met a girl and just two weeks later he married her. Love at first sight he said. After just over four years of marriage, the majority of which he has spent away from home in training, he landed in France with the Royal Engineers on D-Day. The whole thing was, of course, top secret and for weeks his wife had no idea where he was; whether he was dead or alive.
Ron had a horrible time as they all did; he lost good friends and comrades in battle, but luckily he survived the war and eventually returned to his wife who had been waiting for him. They were married over 70 years in all and even though she has now passed away, he still proudly carries their one and only wedding photograph around in his pocket everywhere he goes.
Since the war, Ron had never travelled outside of the UK and had never had a passport until May this year when we helped him apply for one. This photograph was taken on the ferry over the Channel to Normandy, a journey Ron hadn’t made in 68 years. It was an emotional trip for him to say the least, but most of all he was pleased to have the opportunity to go on this adventure and pay his respects. A lovely lovely man and I’m proud to have been able to take his photograph.
Captured on Kodak Portra Film