Hawick hosts commemoration of 75th anniversary of Second World War’s D-Day landings

Hawick D-Day veteran Jim Stirling at the town's Wilton Lodge Park memorial today.
Hawick D-Day veteran Jim Stirling at the town's Wilton Lodge Park memorial today.
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Military veterans in Hawick joined in commemorations being held worldwide today, June 6, to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Unlike Peebles 98-year-old John McOwan, fellow Normandy landings veteran Jim Stirling wasn’t able to make it back to France to take part in today’s main services, but events were held in his home-town of Hawick too to mark the occasion.

A remembrance service and minute’s silence was held at the war memorial in Wilton Lodge Park and wreaths were laid by Hawick Ex-Servicemen’s Club, the FirstLight Trust, Royal British Legion Scotland and the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.

An afternoon tea is following on from that at the FirstLight Trust cafe in High Street.

Retired police sergeant Jim, 93, a Royal Navy telegraphist during the Second World War, was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest military award for bravery, in 2016 for his part in the liberation of Normandy.

John, a jeweller after the war, is among six Scottish Second World War veterans back in France to commemorate the 1944 landings.

The other Scots accompanying him are Denis Gregson, 94, of North Lanarkshire; Jim Glennie, 93, of Aberdeen; James Churm, 94, of Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway; Ian Ritchie, 95, of South Lanarkshire; and Charles Horne, 93, of Port Seton in East Lothian.

The Borderer, an instrument mechanic serving as a sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, attached to the 8th Army, was among more than 900,000 British, US and Canadian troops landed on five beaches on France’s north west coast that month, 150,000-plus of them on June 6 itself.

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