North East veterans travel by East Coast train to D day commemoration
Media call - nation remembers:
What: Veterans depart Darlington railway station by National Express East Coast train for London D Day commemoration
Where: Darlington railway station
When: Sunday 25 October, 08:00 – 08:30. Train departs for London King’s Cross at 08.32. As Darlington is a gated station please can media wishing to cover the departure contact the National Express East Coast press office by 16.00 on Friday 23 October on 0845 059 3988 to arrange access to the platform.
A group of North East war veterans will travel from Darlington to London on Sunday 25 October by National Express East Coast train to mark the 65th anniversary of D Day.
It could be the last official event where veterans come together from across Britain to remember the Normandy landings.
Twenty veterans from the Durham branch of the Normandy Veterans’ Association will join others travelling to Westminster Abbey for the service of commemoration, attended by senior members of the Government.
National Express is providing free rail and coach travel for over 700 veterans to attend the event, including arranging a fleet of dedicated coaches to transport them to London from 20 locations across Britain. The special services will allow veterans, all aged 80 and over, to travel comfortably to the 65th anniversary service.
Peter Hodge, Honorary General Secretary of the Normandy Veterans Association, said: “We are so grateful to National Express for stepping in to help our members reach this official commemoration of D Day. The special coach services mean members can travel comfortably to Westminster Abbey as a group without worrying about travel expenses or connections. The Association does not receive public funding, so it makes an enormous difference to be able to travel for free.”
The Special D Day coach services will depart from destinations including Birmingham, Liverpool, Leicester and Southampton.
Ray O’Toole, Chief Operating Officer for National Express said: “As a British company we’re proud to support the brave soldiers who risked their lives for our country. This year’s D Day commemoration is expected to be the last time veterans meet as a group to mark the Normandy landings. We wanted to ensure every member could attend this historic event.”
The Normandy Veterans Association is a support group for veterans of the Normandy Landings, which took place in 1944. It has members from all disciplines of the armed forces including the navy, army and air force.