D-Day: Lothian veteran Charles Horne recalls that fateful day

Port Seton veteran Charles Horne is heading back to Normandy today, 75 years after his first journey there. (Pic: Wattie Cheung)
Port Seton veteran Charles Horne is heading back to Normandy today, 75 years after his first journey there. (Pic: Wattie Cheung)

A 93-year-old from Port Seton is among the 300 veterans who are making their way to Normandy today.

Stoker Charles Horne served on board a minesweeper alongside American forces.

Charles remembers the shelling going on day and night and not getting any sleep. He later heard that 2000 men were killed on Omaha Beach that morning. He said: "I do feel lucky that I was one of the ones that came home."

Charles remembers the shelling going on day and night and not getting any sleep. He later heard that 2000 men were killed on Omaha Beach that morning. He said: "I do feel lucky that I was one of the ones that came home."

Prior to setting sail on the MV Boudicca to Bayeux with Poppyscotland today, he posed for a stunning portrait to highlight his own personal story of that fafetful day, 75 years ago.

Charles said: “We were the first Allied vessels to arrive, before the D-Day landings. We got some cover from the American warships firing over our heads towards the German placements. The noise was deafening.

“After it started, the shelling went on day and night and we never got any sleep. That said, I suppose it didn’t help that I didn’t have a real bed and had to sleep on a seat!

“I later heard that 2000 men were killed on Omaha Beach that morning, so I do feel lucky that I was one of the ones that came home.

“During the operation, a minesweeper the same as ours was hit and sank in five minutes.”

After the war, Charles returned to a quieter life as a fisherman.