D-Day veteran raises £1 for every man who died during Normandy landings

A D-Day veteran has reached his target of raising £22,442 for charity - £1 for each man who died during the assault.

Harry began raising money for the cause last year. Picture: SWNS
Harry began raising money for the cause last year. Picture: SWNS

Harry Billinge, 93, was just 18-years-old in 1944, serving with the Royal Engineers, and was part of the first wave on Gold Beach.

A total of 22,442 men were lost during the battle and last year, seventy four years on, Harry decided he was going to raise £1 for each of them.

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Now Harry, from St Austell, Cornwall, was raised £22,442 which he is going to give to the Normandy Memorial Trust.

He said: "Don't thank me and don't say I'm a hero. I'm no hero, I was lucky. I'm here.

''All the heroes are dead and I'll never forget them as long as I live."

There is currently no permanent British Memorial to the 22,442 men who gave their lives during the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy.

But thanks to the Normandy Memorial Trust, the first memorial pillars have now been erected at Ver-sur-Mer, in the Normandy region of France.

Harry felt compelled to show his support and began raising money for the cause last year by collecting donations in his town centre, where he would remain all day.

He now spends his Wednesday's at Par Market and Food Hall near Camborne where he has continued to smash his £22,442 fundraising target.

Back in June, Harry won the hearts of the nation when he appeared in an interview with BBC Breakfast today and said he was "no hero".

To aid the cause, Rotary Watches are also set to donate a Limited Edition Royal British Legion MK II Timepiece to Harry's Army, Normandy Memorial Trust.

The Limited Edition Royal British Legion MK II Timepiece has special commemorative features including a red colouring on the 11th day of the month on the date wheel.

The 11th hour is also signified by double applied baton hour markers at 11 O'clock.

These subtle details honor all those who bravely sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom. There are just 1000 individually numbered models available.

Each Limited Edition model is engraved with a field of poppies on the reverse of the watch, representing a lasting symbol of remembrance to the fallen.

Each watch is also individually numbered from 1 to 1000.