Helensburgh joined the world in pausing to remember the sacrifice made 80 years ago on the shores of Normandy.

The war memorial in Hermitage Park played host on Thursday, June 6 to a service in honour of D-Day and the liberation of Europe during the Second World War.

Rain drenched the scene before the ceremony began but Dr Gill Aitkenhead, deputy lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, said there were about 120 people in attendance, including service veterans and young sailors, Royal Marines and four ministers.

"We owe them such a debt of gratitude," she told the Advertiser.

Garelochhead veteran Dennis 'Spike' Jones, who turns 100 this weekend, was in attendance with family.

"We look at someone like him, a man in a million, as all those veterans are," added Dr Aitkenhead.

(Image: Ann Stewart) (Image: Ann Stewart) (Image: Ann Stewart)

"You only have to look at Poppy Day each year and the number of young people attending is growing.

"We are living in a much more dangerous world at the moment an they look to their parents and grandparents.

"It's all still very pertinent and we must never lose sight of that."

The Rev Mark Allsopp RN, chaplain at HM Naval Base Clyde, opened proceedings and gave the final blessing.

The Naval Prayer was read by Rev Mark Dalton RN, also a chaplain at the base, with the Army Prayer read by Rev Lilias Hunter from Helensburgh Baptist Church.

Wreath layers SSB Mr Ron Reitveld and WRS Mr Chris Leggat  (Image: Ann Stewart) (Image: Ann Stewart) (Image: Ann Stewart)

The RAF Prayer was read by Rev Dominic Ind from St Michael and All Angels Church.

They also took turns in reading out a prayer based on the Prayer for D-Day which was written by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Geoff Coles, from the Helensburgh and District branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS), said: "Despite a shower just before the start, the ceremony was well attended by the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and veterans.

"The traditions of remembrance, the exhortation that 'we will remember them', the Last Post, silence and reveille were joined by prayers for all three services.

(Image: Ann Stewart) Revds Mark Dalton (base chaplain), Dominic Ind (St Michael and All Angels) Mark Allsopp (base chaplain) and Lilias Hunter (Helensburgh Baptist Church)Revds Mark Dalton (base chaplain), Dominic Ind (St Michael and All Angels) Mark Allsopp (base chaplain) and Lilias Hunter (Helensburgh Baptist Church) (Image: Ann Stewart)

"The Piper's Lament accompanied the laying of 11 wreaths and the HMS Neptune Volunteer Band played for the Hymn Eternal Father.

"The Kohima Epitaph - 'When you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today' - and a blessing concluded a very moving event.

"D-Day 80, probably the last time there will be such events attended by D-Day veterans, was very well covered by TV, radio and the national press.

"Helensburgh and district played our part and thanks to all who participated."

Royal MarinesRoyal Marines (Image: Ann Stewart) Royal Navy personnelRoyal Navy personnel (Image: Ann Stewart)

The standard bearers for the event were John Webster and Chris Rice from RBLS, and Clive Lee and Nigel Stephenson from WOSSA.

Wreaths were laid by:

  • Lord Lt of Dunbartonshire by Deputy Lord Lt Dr. Gill Aitkenhead;
  • RN and RM Cdr Peter Noblet RN and Captain Hugo Marsh RM;
  • A&BC and HCC Mr William Sinclair (Armed Forces Champion) Mr Maurice Corry and Mr Roger Clarke;
  • RBLS and WOSSA Mr David Archard and Mr Andy Knox;
  • SSB and WRS Mr Ron Rietveld and Mr Chris Leggat

The HMS Neptune Volunteer Band was led by Band Master WO Chris Randall, while Jim Grace read the Kohima Epitaph and Andy Knox the exhortation.

Pipe major John Low played the 'Flowers of the Forest' lament.