HILLINGDON war veterans will be making a final trip to France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, thanks to council funding.

Members of the West Middlesex Normandy Veterans Association (NVA) Branch no.77 will be travelling across the Channel next week to revisit the beaches where some of them once fought.

The group, which includes widows, family members and carers of the veterans, is also due to meet the Queen.

Fourteen members will be travelling to France to attend the international ceremony on June 6, D-Day, at Sword Beach.

Council leader Ray Puddifoot offered to help fund the trip as, without this financial aid, the group would not have been able to go.

Cllr Puddifoot said: ”We have worked very closely with the association over the years and, as they will be disbanding after this trip, I thought it was one final way we could show our support and gratitude to them. We owe a lot to our war veterans.”

Bill Crier, vice-chairman of the West Middlesex NVA, added: “The support we have had from the borough over the years has been wonderful, and this funding for the trip means a lot to us.

“The veterans do not want what they have done to be forgotten and I am very pleased to be able to give our membership lists, naming the Normandy veterans and including some personal details, to the borough, so they may be seen by others for years to come.

“Myer Malin has been an excellent chairman, keeping the group together, and done a lot to ensure the spirit of Normandy is not forgotten.”

Former councillor and veteran Walter Hart’s carer, Shirley Harper-O’Neill, will be laying a wreath during the visit on behalf of the council.

The branch will be disbanding in November.