By Tony Winterburn • 10 October 2020 • 8:42
The D-Day veteran, one of the first British soldiers to land on Gold Beach in 1944, said he is “moved beyond measure” to have a train named in his honour.
D-Day hero Horace “Harry” Billinge was just 18 when he stormed the beach in German-occupied Normandy during the landings on June 6 1944. The sapper from St Austell, Cornwall, was made an MBE in 2019 for charitable fundraising after collecting more than £50,000 for veterans.
The former Royal Engineer, 95, says, “This is the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me. I appreciate the Great Western Railway. I didn’t expect any of this. I did it for the boys that never came back. I told the Queen that when I received the MBE. I didn’t accept the MBE for myself but only for the memorial and the fellas that never came back.”
Harry added, “I’ve been deeply moved today. Having a train named after me is a great honour. It will remind people of the fine men who fought that day, lots of whom never went back home again. It’s important that their memory is remembered, and I hope this train will carry that message to thousands of people every day.”
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