WWII veteran achieves lifelong mission for memorial honouring British D-Day soldiers

Harry Billinge, 96, said raising money for the new memorial meant more to him than life itself, ITV News Reporter Helen Keenan reports

Sunday will mark 77 years since British soldiers fought on the beaches at Normandy on what is known as D-Day.

Tens of thousands of Allied troops arrived on the beaches in northern France to fight Nazi German forces and take the country back. It marked the beginning of the end of Nazi occupation in Europe during World War II.

While there is a dedicated memorial for other troops in Normandy, there is not one specifically for British soldiers.

Now, a memorial to honour those who lost their lives will be unveiled this weekend to mark the 77th anniversary of D-Day on June 6.

The names of thousands of British soldiers are carved onto a £30 million monument.

The heroes will be honoured with a permanent memorial in the place where they fell.

Harry Billinge, 96, has devoted his life to raising money for this memorial. He told ITV News how the tribute meant more to him than life itself.

But British veterans will be unable to travel to France to witness the unveiling because of Covid-19 restrictions.

So instead, they will be marking the moment closer to home at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where the event will be livestreamed.