Deeside and Donside remember D-Day

jpD-DAY: Men of the 5/7th Gordon Highlanders occupy a defensive position in Normandy.
jpD-DAY: Men of the 5/7th Gordon Highlanders occupy a defensive position in Normandy.

Last week saw the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord, more commonly referred to as D-Day, which Deeside and Donside men were involved in.

Code named Operation Neptune, the landing operations on June 6 1944 at Normandy marked the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Overlord marked the beginning of the Allied invasion of Nazi occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

The 7th (Marr and Mearns) Battalion served with the second formation of the 51st Highland Division throughout the war and landed in Normandy on June 7, as part of I Corps.

They engaged in heavy fighting moving through deadly hedgerows from town to town.

After spending a brief period supporting 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, the 7th were sent across the Orne River, and spent two months supporting the 6th Airborne Division in its bridgehead.

During this period the men of the Marr and Mearns fought the fascist invaders during many bloody actions at places such as Breville, June 11–12 and Colombelles July 11.

Westhill based French born MSP Christian Allard paid tribute to the soldiers from around the world that took part in the D-day landings 70 years ago today.

Mr Allard recognised the contribution and sacrifice made by some 156,000 personnel from the Commonwealth and beyond that stormed on the beaches of Normandy in 1944.

The SNP MSP told how thankful his home nation are for the sacrifices soldiers from all over the world made during the offensive that marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

Mr Allard said: “People from countries across the Commonwealth and beyond put aside their differences to fight for a common cause and that is something to be commended.

“Their bravery should never be forgotten.”