AN EAST Lothian veteran is one of six Scots who have made an emotional return to the beaches of Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Stoker Charles Horne from Port Seton made the trip from Portsmouth to the famous beaches today (Thursday) as part of a group of 300 veterans to commemorate the historic Normandy landings during the Second World War.

Yesterday (Wednesday) saw them take centre stage at a national commemorative event in Portsmouth before retracing their famous journey in cruise ship MV Boudicca chartered by Legion Scotland, Poppy Scotland and the Royal British Legion.

June 6, 1944, D-Day, saw the largest seaborne invasion in history and was the great push from the Allied forces to claim back occupied Europe from Nazi control, an effort that would eventually win the war.

To further mark this 75th anniversary milestone, Legion Scotland and Poppy Scotland have commissioned a series of portraits of the veterans to highlight their role on that day 75 years ago.

The veterans were photographed on a Graflex Super D large format film camera that was made in the USA in the 1940s.

Mr Horne, now 93, still remembers clearly the events of D-Day.

He said: “We were the first Allied vessel to arrive before the D-Day landings. We got some cover from the American warships firing over our heads towards the German placements. The noise was deafening.

“After it started, the shelling went on day and night and we never got any sleep. That said, I suppose it didn’t help that I didn’t have a real bed and had to sleep on a seat!

“I later heard that 2,000 men were killed on Omaha Beach that morning, so I do feel lucky that I was one of the ones that came home. During the operation, a minesweeper the same as ours was hit and sank in five minutes.”

After the war, Mr Horne returned to his life as a fisherman.

Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, said: “D-Day was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. The remarkable stories of these six Scottish veterans provide us with an important reminder of both the bravery and tragedy which surrounds that day.

“Legion Scotland is committed to providing comradeship for those in the Armed Forces community and to ensuring the memory of those who fell in the service to our country is remembered forever. It will be an honour and a privilege to host these incredible gentlemen, and to recognise the immense contribution of an entire generation.”