On June 6, 2019, the world will be reflecting on D-Day, one of the bloodiest battles of WW2. Parachute veteran Harry Read announced that he would again be parachuting on to the Normandy beach to mark the anniversary of D-Day. While recalling the events of the day to Channel 4’s Jon Snow, Mr Read broke down in tears as he detailed the gruesome reality of the war.
Mr Read began discussing how he would feel visiting the war cemetery before taking a pause to hold back his tears.
Through gritted teeth, he said: “When we go to the cemetery, I will not be able to speak but I will weep.
“I’m not the slightest bit nervous about jumping out of a plane at the age of 95.
“But It could be tricky.
He recalled a senior officer telling him: “We are expecting 50 percent casualties on landing.”
He said: “I had to come to terms with the fact that the chances of me coming back weren’t very high.
“I also had to come to terms with what kind of a soldier I was going to be.
“I came to the conclusion that I would honour the spirit of the parachute regiment, that I wouldn’t surrender.
“If I had to fight my lone battle I’d fight my lone battle rather than be taken prisoner.”
The D-Day veteran then went on to describe the moment when his best friend was killed in battle on that day.
He said: “Tony was a tall chap and I’m not the tallest man and I thought he was a great man.
“Suddenly there was a mortar shell that came over and so the cry came out for the medics and Tony grabbed his stretcher.
“With his long legs he ran across the meadow and the remarkable thing was that whoever fired that mortar shell, fired a second one that landed in precisely the same place.
“Tony was killed and it was devastating.”