THURSDAY was the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings – one of the most remarkable Allied wartime operations to have taken place.

It was the largest military naval, air and land operation ever attempted and marked the start of the campaign to liberate Nazi-occupied north-west Europe.

D-Day involved the simultaneous landing of tens of thousands of troops on five separate beaches in Normandy.

British, American and Canadian forces landed in France to drive out the occupying German army. And, as a result, thousands perished, were left injured or missing.

This year’s significant anniversary will be a poignant one for a dwindling group of people – those who were there at the time.

They call themselves the lucky ones for many, as we know, made the ultimate sacrifice in 1944.

So it’s right that, as a country, we remember and honour those who had their lives cut short so tragically.

And hearing first-hand accounts from those who played a part and lived to tell the tale, like veteran Royal Navy signalman Marcus Gatenby (94) from Ovingham, make the historic significance of the operation all the more powerful.

On Southsea Common in Portsmouth, a national event held on Wednesday told the story of the build-up to D-Day through live music, performance and testimonials.

The Queen, Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump were among the dignitaries present.

Hundreds of veterans attended the ceremony and up to 300 have since boarded a cruise ship, the MV Boudicca, to retrace their route to Normandy 75 years ago accompanied – as they were then – by a flotilla of Royal Navy vessels.

Here in Tynedale, a number of special services and commemorations have been planned to take place across the district.

We will remember them.