Dagenham D-Day veterans given gift of travel to visit Normandy

Some of the veterans who meet at Dagenham Football Club who will be heading out to Normandy

Some of the veterans who meet at Dagenham Football Club who will be heading out to Normandy - Credit: Archant

A group of D-Day veterans who thought they would not be able to travel to Normandy for the historic 70 year anniversary set off for France on Thursday.

The group, who meet at Dagenham football club, struggled to find travel insurance to cover their journey and lost hope in going until an insurance company offered to cover them for free.

Chairman of the Dagenham branch of veterans, Ken Hay, 88, organised the trip and explained to LV= insurers he had not been successful in finding cover.

LV= then offered the group and their family members free insurance enabling them to revisit the landmark to mark the momentous occasion.

The Dagenham veterans were from a number of regiments, some of which were the Royal Signals, Royal Navy, and Combined Operations.

They performed a wide range of tasks during the war, such as a telegraph coder and a tank landing craft operator.

Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of LV= travel insurance acknowledged that older holidaymakers can find it difficult to secure travel insurance, especially if they have pre-existing medical conditions.

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He said: “These men have done so much for our country and yet they were struggling to get cover to go to the 70th anniversary D-Day celebrations in Normandy.

“We are really pleased to be able to support them with free travel insurance for this trip and hope they enjoy the celebrations.”

In total LV= have covered 25 people, the Normandy veterans and some of their family member.

D-Day refers to the Normandy landings, when the allied forces liberated mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II.

The attack took place on June 6, 1944, making this year the 70th anniversary of the bloody operation.

Hundreds of veterans have travelled to Normandy to mark the anniversary, but with the youngest being well into their 80s it’s likely this will be the last significant anniversary most will witness.