The visit has added poignance as the last major official remembrance of D Day.
Yesterday Sword beach was a sun soaked international stage of commemoration, for a ceremony of dance and theatre attended by world leaders including the Queen, Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin, who was booed by the crowds.
are currently on.
And for one of the veterans, Doug Parker, aged 91, from Owlthorpe, Sword beach is of vital significance it was where he landed as an infantryman with the very first wave of assault troops at H Hour Nike Air Max 90 Mens Blue Suede on June 6, 1944.
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Doug was one of just 10 of the last surviving South Yorkshire Normandy veterans who set off from Pond Street bus station at dawn on Tuesday to make their pilgrimage to France.
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Later this year the Normandy Veterans' Association officially disbands due to dwindling numbers.
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Day vet remembers 'longest day of life'
"He said, 'Help me Doug'. I laid him down gently and told the stretcher bearers, 'Look after Wilkie'. I couldn't stay with him. My objective was to make the beach safe for the thousands who landed after us. We were successful, but Wilkie died."
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"I ran up the beach and saw machine gun bullets spraying the sand. I saw Corporal Wilkinson, a very nice corporal, not married that long, laid there badly wounded.
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