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Welcome to the Poppy Shop,
the official online charity and gift shop
of The Royal British Legion
On the morning of the 6th June 1944, Allied soldiers found themselves far from home on the beaches of Normandy. They were part of the biggest amphibious operation in history, an operation that was to change the future of Europe. D-Day took months of planning and preparation and the conditions for success needed to be perfect, – from the need for absolute secrecy to the requirement for the right tide.
On the 6th June, the courage, skill and tenacity of tens of thousands of Allied troops fought by sea, air and land to ensure that a foothold was secured. It was this foothold that would become the jumping point for the liberation of Western Europe.
For 2019, to mark the 75th anniversary of the historic D-Day landings, The Royal British Legion wishes to remember those whose service and sacrifice liberated millions more with our new D-Day 75 Lapel Pin made in homage to those who sacrificed all in The Battle of Normandy.
The very heart of each enamel Poppy is made with real sand collected by hand from Arromanches, part of the Gold Beach landing area.
Each rhodium plated pin comes in a D-Day 75 box presented with a commemorative certificate dedicated to a fallen soldier from The Battle of Normandy.
To mark the 75th Anniversary of D-DAY, we wish to recognise the role of Codebreakers with a new brooch.
Inspired by the rotors of the Bombe machines used to break Enigma chiphers, this silver plated poppy is a tribute to the work of those in signal intelligence.
At 20 years old, former codebreaker Bernard Mortgan was the youngest RAF senior NCO to land on the beaches on D-Day. His was also the first RAF operational unit to disembark that day.
Bernard's vessel dropped anchor off the French coast at Gold Beachy, Normandy at 3am. For someone so young, it was a shock to be thrust right into the heart of a huge military operation. Nothing could have prepared him for what he'd see that day.
Recounting his first steps onto the beach, Bernard says, "The sound of gunfire was constant and the beach was littered with bodies. As a 20-year-old airman seeing my first dead body, it was a sight I'll never forget."
24,970 British troops landed on Gold Beach on D-Day. 400 of them lost their lives.
"You hear a lot of people saying they weren't frightened, but i'll tell you the truth, I was very frightened, sitting behind a Bren gun for two hours." The Bren gun was the primary light machine gun used by the Britih Army in World War 2. It was operated by a two-man crew - one man to fire the gun, another to load the magazines and swap out the barrels when they overheated.
Bernard went on to join the 83 Group Control Centre, a mobile signals unit attached to the 2nd Tactical Air Force which controlled air operations over North West Europe. It was not until VE Day, 8 May 1945, that he was able to return home.
94-year-old Bernard, who only gave up cycling last year, gives talks to schools and cadet groups about his wartime experiences.