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You don’t have to tell me, Queen reminds veteran recounting horrors of war

The Queen met a small group of elderly ex-servicemen and women who were all involved with Normandy landings.

The Queen met veterans during commemorations (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)
The Queen met veterans during commemorations (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

The Queen jokingly told a D-Day veteran he did not have to remind her about the horrors of the liberation of Europe – as she was from his generation.

After attending the poignant and moving commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied campaign, the mood lighted when the Queen, joined by US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and the Prince of Wales, met a small group of elderly ex-servicemen and women who were all involved with Normandy landings.

She chatted to former Royal Marine Jack Smith, 94, a landing craft coxswain who was part of the first wave during D-Day.

He spent almost three months at the Normandy beaches ferrying the injured, munitions and other cargo, sleeping on his vessel under a tarpaulin sheet and was regularly strafed with bullets by Nazi planes.

When the veteran told the Queen how bad things were on D-Day she replied: “You don’t have to tell me – I’m from the same generation,” his son-in-law Stanley Marlow told reporters.

The ex-servicemen, from Barwell, Leicestershire, then teased the Queen, who is 93, by saying “I’m older than you.”

After chatting with the monarch Mr Smith said: “It was a thrill meeting the Queen, she’s marvellous and a real good egg.”

The former Royal Marine and his 74-year-old son-in-law, who is from Hinckley, Leicestershire, also chatted to Mr Trump and his wife.

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Melania and Donald Trump meet veterans after the ceremony (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Mr Marlow said: “He was a very nice chap. We had a little joke, he said ‘I couldn’t win that’ pointing to Jack’s medals and I said to him about his wife ‘well you won this one’.

“He laughed and she said ‘thank you very much’.

Speaking about the commemoration event staged in Portsmouth, Mr Smith said: “It means an awful lot to be here, the day respects everybody who took part in D-Day.

“A lot of people did a lot of good work that day it respects their memory and the lads that didn’t come back.”

PA

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