D-Day remembered: 70 years since the battle on the beaches

On the 6th June 1944, an Allied force of British, American and Canadian troops carried out the largest seaborne invasion in history, landing on the beaches of Normandy in France to begin the liberation of Axis-occupied Europe.

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The family among the first to be liberated

One of the key parts of the Operation Overlord was the capture of Pegasus Bridge over the Orne River en route to Caen. The Allies needed to control it to prevent the Germans sending reinforcements to the battle lines on the Normandy beaches.

It was taken by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who set off on the night of 5th June 1944. They secured the bridge with the loss of just two men. The Gondree family lived beside the bridge where they ran a cafe. They turned their home into a field hospital.

It has the distinction of being the first house in France to be liberated during the war. Arlette was just four when the troops arrived at the cafe run by her parents Georges and Thérèse Gondree. She runs the cafe now and spoke to us about the night that changed their lives.

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