D-Day veteran given police escort to memorial service

On the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings Essex Police escorted a 104-year old veteran to a memorial service in Rettendon.

Former Royal Engineer Don Sheppard, from Basildon, is Essex’s oldest Normandy veteran.

Alongside thousands of Allied soldiers, Mr Sheppard landed on the Normandy coast on June 6 1944. His task was to secure Juno beach.

He had previously served in north Africa and Sicily prior to D-Day.

On Thursday June 6, officers escorted Mr Sheppard from his home to the living memorial in Rettendon.

Don travelled to the memorial in an adapted mobility vehicle and was escorted by officers from the roads policing unit including motorbike riders.

Inspector Steve Parry, of the Basildon community policing team, said: “This is the least we could do for our local D-Day hero and we’re so honoured to have been part of his special day. It was our privilege to spend time with him and his family.

“The actions and the sacrifice of Don, and those from his generation, should never be forgotten. He is a remarkable man, and his family is rightly extremely proud of him.”