The Normandy Memorial Trust
1195. Harry Billinge
Harry Billinge, aged 93, from Cornwall, is a D-Day veteran who has raised thousands of pounds for ‘The Normandy Memorial Trust’ to help fund a permanent memorial to the 22,442 men who gave their lives during the D-Day landings and Battle of Normandy.
Harry has been dedicated to raising money through street collections in his hometown of St Austell, raising over £5,000. Like so many Second World War veterans, memories of D-Day and the loss of his comrades have never left him and Harry has bravely shared his story of the events on D-Day to ensure that the important day is remembered.
Harry’s award coincides with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the inauguration of the Normandy Memorial by Prime Minister Theresa May and President Macron of France.
In a personal letter to Harry, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Today, President Macron and I will stand together to honour those with whom you so bravely served our country and to inaugurate the memorial you have helped make possible. Your fundraising efforts will ensure a lasting tribute to the brave men of the D-Day Landings and will serve to keep their memory alive.”
Lord Peter Ricketts, Chairman of ‘The Normandy Memorial Trust’ said:
“Harry Billinge is an inspiration. The trust must and will fulfil our obligation to all the Normandy Veterans. We owe them so much.”
Pictured: above, Harry on Gold Beach (credit: Michael Traboulsi); below, Harry in uniform as a young member of the Armed Forces during the Second World War