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THE community of Dafen came together to honour those who took part in the D-Day landings 75 years ago today on the 6th of June.

Veterans and organisers met at St. Michaels and All Saints Church before marching to the Dafen Memorial Garden, where a service of remembrance took place.

Leading the service was Cllr Rob Evans. Prayers were offered by the Reverend Sulin Milne. George Parker gave a short speech touching on the service and dedication of those who fought and died during the D-Day landings. The last post was sounded followed by a minute’s silence followed by the Reveille.

People of all ages lined the street and gathered together to witness the placing of wreaths in the garden. Flags of America, Canada, Great Britain, Wales and a flag denoting the names of the beaches blew gently in the breeze. Sand from the beaches of Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword were placed in tins alongside a bright red wreath of poppies.

One of the veterans attending the event was Gordon Davies from Dafen. Gordon served in Egypt but he was also posted to Christmas Island, where he witnessed the detonation of the Atom Bomb. Recalling that event he said that the armed services personnel had nothing but coconut trees as protection against the massive after blast, which contained potentially lethal levels of radiation. Subsequently Gordon told us, many of those soldiers died either shortly after the event or suffered prolonged health problems for years afterwards.

There were veterans of the Korean War, which they referred to as the ‘forgotten war’. Veterans from campaigns in Africa and from more modern wars in Iran, Iraq and the Falklands.

The local council and Labour group were represented by Cllr Andre McPherson, Cllr Deryk Cundy, Cllr Rob James and Cllr Fozia Akhtar.

The day ended with refreshments at Dafen Hall where young and old alike shared more stories over tea and cakes.

Images: ©Llanelli Online CIC

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