Watch the veteran’s emotional interview:
Video Credit: D-DAY 75/BBC One
A 93-year-old D-Day veteran Harry Billinge, who has raised more than £10,000 for the Normandy Memorial Trust, said that ‘Don’t say I’m a hero, all the heroes are dead’.
Royal Engineers sapper, Harry Billinge, of St Austell, Cornwall, landed on Gold Beach with 600 other men from the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers when he was just 18-year-old.
The veteran has raised more than £10,000 for the Normandy Memorial Trust in an effort to build a monument for the dead.
During an interview with BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, Mr. Billinge said: “I’m very sorry I’m getting a bit choked. Don’t thank me, and don’t say I’m a hero. I’m no hero, I was lucky. I’m here. All the heroes are dead, and I’ll never forget them as long as I live.”
“When I landed it was hell. You cannot put words to D-Day. Whatever I told you would be a load of rubbish because I’d never seen anything like it in my life.”
“You had the ships firing over your head, and you had the Germans firing at you from inland – 88mm guns they used, which would blow you off the face of the earth. All the mines and that were taken away by fail tanks that were caused a Hobart’s Funny. They cleared certain paths to get the men off the beach as quick as possible.”
“There was a beachmaster. One bloke I knew was a SAS bloke. They were saying ‘get everybody off the beach’. And a lot of poor fellas never got out of the sea.”
“I’ve got such a vivid memory, they couldn’t help me at all.”
The veteran attended the inauguration of the British Normandy Memorial site at Ver-sur-Mer in France with other D-Day veterans.
Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with D-Day veterans at the inauguration of the British Normandy Memorial site at Ver-sur-Mer in France.
“Homeless Veteran Timelapse Transformation”