Daily Express - - 75th D-Day Anniversar­y -

THE Queen stood as a D-Day vet­eran now aged 99 took to the stage at yes­ter­day’s cer­e­mony recog­nis­ing the brav­ery of those who fought in the in­va­sion.

Born on Novem­ber 16, 1919, John Jenk­ins, from Portsmouth, joined the Army in 1940.

He was just 23 when he landed on Gold Beach, one of the five land­ing points on the French coast. He fought from there through France, Belgium and on into Ger­many where he helped lib­er­ate a con­cen­tra­tion camp at Falling­bostel.

His val­our led to him be­ing made an MBE by the Queen and given the French Le­gion d’Hon­neur.

But he said the big­gest achievemen­t in his life was “mar­ry­ing the best girl in the world” – Peggy, his wife for 74 years. She died in 2014. He even sneaked off

base to see her be­fore the in­va­sion be­gan. He ex­plained: “I was locked up in a camp in Es­sex, near Til­bury, and I heard there was a gap in the fence and a few peo­ple had slipped home.

“I was so anx­ious to see my wife, be­cause I knew what was go­ing to hap­pen, es­pe­cially as they is­sued us with French money.”

But duty then came first and “I said good­bye and went back”.

John Jenk­ins on stage yes­ter­day dur­ing the Portsmouth cer­e­mony

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