A VETERAN from the Second World War returned to Normandy with family and fellow veterans to relive wartime memories.

Ted Bootle, 93, of Gants Hill, South Ockendon, was shipped to Normandy from Tilbury in 1944 as part of the Army’s 6th Airbourne Division.

Ted returned to Normandy with his son Alan and daughter-in-law Polly.

Alan enjoyed watching his father relive old wartime memories, and said: “It was wonderful watching Dad come alive with the other veterans and to also go back to the places where he spent his wartime service.”

Ted spent three months in Normandy distributing supplies.

Christmas leave was interrupted by the unit’s recall to Europe as the division took part in the Battle of the Bulge. He later went through Belgium, Holland and Germany with the Army, before being posted to Palestine where he was demobbed in 1947.

In December 1947, Ted married Joan, who he had met the evening before he left Tilbury for D-Day. Together they raised two sons, Alan and Ken.

Ted said: “I like the people of Normandy as they always show their appreciation to us D-Day veterans when they see us wearing our medals.

“People stop and talk to us in the street, thank us and even give us hugs - they haven’t forgotten us.”

An important element of the visit for Ted is meeting up with other old soldiers.

He added: “We all quickly become friends as we have our common wartime bond - we have all fought and lost friends, and done things that younger generations cannot imagine.

“The tour was very well organised, we had a lovely guide and a brilliant coach driver – in fact, we could have done with him on D-Day!”

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.