Veteran Hector Duff, 99, on the horror of the D-Day landings

99-year-old Hector Duff's home is in the tranquil setting of the Isle of Man.

But in 1944 he was serving with the Royal Tank Regiment, part of the 50th British Division, which landed on Gold beach in Normandy.


Hector's memories of the invasion are crystal clear.

Credit: ITV News

Hector was just 19 when he was called up and had already fought in North Africa, where he'd won the Military Metal.


As he headed for France, more than 23,000 Allied airborne troops were dropped behind enemy lines.

At dawn on the 6th of June more than 156,000 soldiers crossed the English Channel to land at five beaches, code named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

If the Allies were to beat Germany failure was not an option.

Arromanches-Les-Bains: Remnants of the former harbour can be seen at Gold Beach during the tide in the sunset. Credit: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Men like Hector were left with coming to terms with the reality of taking the life of a fellow human being.

Over the years, Hector has returned to Normandy to remember his friends who never came home.

He has chosen to spend D-Day 2019 at his home in Oncan of the Isle of Man

Credit: ITV News

He says his one wish is that the turning points in the Second World War will never be forgotten.