SLIDESHOW: 69th anniversary of D-Day landings

TODAY marks the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landings during the Second World War.

The Allied mission to reclaim Northern France from the occupied German forces was one of the major turning points of the six-year conflict.

SO PROUD: Veterans on their march in East Durham

SO PROUD: Veterans on their march in East Durham

While next year’s 70th anniversary is likely to earn more public attention, the memory of those who lost their lives in the aftermath of June 6, 1944, should not be forgotten for another 12 months.

Here the Mail looks back at services held in both Hartlepool and East Durham in 1994 to mark half a century since the landings.

A service of tribute was organised at Westbourne Methodist Church, in Hartlepool, by the Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Gwynneth Hanson.

Normandy veterans from across East Durham also gathered for a march and service at Princess Road Cemetery, in Seaham, where around 50 war casualties are buried.

About 10,000 troops lost their lives as the Allied forces wrestled control of the French beaches and surrounding land from the Germans.

As Normandy survivor William Caster said in a reading at the Hartlepool service: “They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.

“Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”