Scots heroes remembered on 75th anniversary of D-Day

A book has been launched ahead of the ceremony to tell stories of soldiers who fell on June 6, 1944.

The D-Day landings took place on June 6, 1944. <strong>Imperial War Museum</strong>
The D-Day landings took place on June 6, 1944. Imperial War Museum

Stories of all the Scots soldiers who died on D-Day are being brought together for the first time as a special 75th anniversary ceremony takes place.

Princess Anne will attend a fundraising dinner in Edinburgh on Thursday as a new book is launched to remember the 84 Scots soldiers serving in the British Army who lost their lives on June 6, 1944.

The operation began the end of German occupation in France and ultimately the end of the Second World War in Europe.

All funds raised will go to the Soldiers’ Charity, the Army’s national charity, which is also marking its 75th anniversary.

Princess Anne will attend the ceremony. Chris Jackson/Getty

A 94-year-old D-Day veteran, Joseph Connor, who served in the 15th (Scottish) Reconnaissance Regiment, will attend the ceremony, which coincides with the launch of the book.

Scottish Soldiers – D Day Roll of Honour explains the role played by each of the 84 men who paid the ultimate sacrifice on that day.

Among the stories told are the heroic efforts of 22-year-old Captain George McLennan, of the Royal Engineers, who was killed by a grenade as he tried to evacuate men from a stricken tank while under fire.

Former Edinburgh Academy pupil Captain McLennan was posthumously awarded the Military Cross for showing “outstanding bravery and devotion to duty knowing he stood little chance”.

Sergeant James Wingate’s grave at Balengeich Cemetery in Stirling.

The book also records the actions of fellow Royal Engineer Sergeant James Wingate, who is buried at Balengeich Cemetery in Stirling.

Sergeant Wingate was killed when a German round detonated explosives attached to an Allied armoured vehicle near the tank he was in while still on board the landing craft.

Euan Cluness, who wrote the book with his father Peter, said “We’re all familiar, to a greater or lesser extent, with the events of D-Day but it is easy to forget that behind each casualty figure is a man with a family and friends.

The ceremony will take place at Prestonfield House.

“My dad and I wanted to tell the stories of the Scottish soldiers who laid down their lives on that historic day so their sacrifice can be remembered.”

The dinner at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh will be attended by a host of serving army personnel and will raise money for the Soldiers’ Charity in Scotland, which supports servicemen, veterans and their families.

Event organiser Charles Dunphie, regional director for the charity in Scotland, said: “It is sometimes said that ‘freedom isn’t free’.

“Marking the charity’s 75th anniversary on such an important date, in the presence of The Princess Royal, will be a fitting tribute to the 84 Scots soldiers killed on June 6, 1944.”

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