Veteran Dennis, 95, to be guest of honour at special D-Day event

Dennis will be a guest of honour at the emotional event at the town’s War Memorial Club on the D-Day Anniversary.

A 95-year-old D-Day veteran will be wearing his medals with pride at a commemorative event to mark the 75th anniversary of the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Great grandfather Dennis Young, who now lives at Pendine Park’s Hillbury House care home in Wrexham, will be a guest of honour at the emotional event at the town’s War Memorial Club tomorrow (Thursday) evening.

As a 20-year-old, he sailed across the English Channel with his comrades from the 34th Independent Tank Brigade just after historic Allied operation got underway.

They landed on the beach at Courseulls-sur-Mer, where Juno and Gold beaches met, and initially saw action in the open countryside around the village of Villers-Bocage.

Dennis was injured twice in the intense fighting that followed the D-Day landings.

Five years ago he was awarded he was awarded the Légion d’honneur, France’s greatest honour for the role he played in the liberation of France.

Son Michael Young, 71, said: “Dad was just 15-and-a half when World War Two started. He was an apprentice mechanic at the time but tried to join the RAF."

His father, who had experienced the horrors of World War One, wouldn’t give parental consent for him to join and he had to wait until he was nearly 18 knowing he would be called up for the army or navy. He was called up on November 5, 1942, and after initial training was drafted into the Royal Armoured Corps.

After landing on the beach at Courseulls-sur-Mer and fighting around Villers-Bocage he saw his first really big action after being ordered to advance on, and take, the towns of Evercy, Bougy and Maizet and then the high ground beyond Ferm de Mondeville.

“The attack started at 11.30pm and by 8.00am the next day, July 16, the town of Gavrus had fallen and around 70 prisoners captured. The town of Bougy followed with a further 100 prisoners captured.”

He added: “All day long dad’s tank was under attack with one shell hitting the tank. They made a dash for it into an orchard, which was mined and surrounded. “Dad apparently got out of the tank to stretch his legs at around 7pm but came under machine gun fire and quickly got back in."

“They were pulled back and worked on the tank through the night. Leaving the Bougy area they headed for Evrecy. But the German Panzers were waiting for them and dad’s tank was hit by an 88mm shell which killed the commander."

“The rest of the crew were injured and the tank left on fire. They crawled about a quarter of a mile through a corn field before being picked up and taken to a field hospital. After discharge dad joined back up with his regiment.”