The Duke of Cambridge paid homage to the brave troops who landed on the beaches of Normandy in 1944 in front of a crowd of veterans and members of the public at the National Memorial Arboretum. The dad-of-three read the famous words of the former king which he had used to inspire and comfort Britain in the run up to the battle. Using the words the Queen’s father said in 1944, the prince said: “”Four years ago our nation and empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall.
“Now once more a supreme test has to be faced.
“This time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause.
“At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young, or too old to play a part in a nationwide, perchance a world-wide vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth.”
William’s address was witnessed by around 20 D-Day veterans who attended the service in Staffordshire.
The duke, 36, laid a wreath at the foot of the Normandy Campaign Memorial, with a personal note that read: “In memory of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We will remember them. William.”
After the service of commemoration, he met some of the war heroes who landed on the beaches of Northern France to fight to free France and the rest of Europe from the Nazis’ grip.
Veteran – and centenarian – Pixie Jenkins, was among those who attended the West Midlands event.
Ms Jenkins, who served as a Wren in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, helped drive troops and military equipment to Newhaven Docks in East Sussex ahead of D-Day.
She said it was regretful that the younger generation had forgotten the ultimate sacrifice made by so many soldiers for the price of freedom.
She said: “I think the men that went over were wonderful and I hope the younger people today realise how fortunate they are to have people like that.
“I think so many youngsters today have forgotten about the men.
“They look at them and think, ‘They’re old men now’ – to them they’re just old men.
“And they’re not, they are wonderful, wonderful men that went over.
“I salute them all.”