‘I’m raising money for the fellas who never came back,’ says WWII veteran Harry Billinge.

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‘I’m raising money for the fellas who never came back,’ says WWII veteran Harry Billinge.

“There is no glory in war,” says the 96-year-old, who was 18 when he landed on Gold Beach. “However, it is critical that what we learned from everything we went through be taught to future generations.”

Harry Billinge, who is 96 years old, has been collecting donations for the Poppy Appeal on his local high street in St Austell, Cornwall, for the past week.

He was 18 when he landed on Gold Beach on June 6, 1944, and has been raising money for military charities for 68 years.

He was a sapper, or military engineer, with the 44 Royal Engineer Commandos and a member of the first wave of troops.

“I feel very humble indeed that I should be among the last ones left,” he says of being one of the few surviving veterans from the Normandy landings.

“I gave it everything I had.”

He denies being a hero, but says the “horrifying scenes” he saw stayed with him long after the war ended, inspiring him to raise thousands of dollars for a national memorial to those who died in the conflict.

He has raised at least £50,000 over the years for the construction of the British Normandy Memorial, which was dedicated last year.

Mr Billinge said it was his “last duty” to support the memorial, which records the names of all 22,442 service personnel who died under British command on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy.

The creation of a national memorial had long been a dream of veterans who were frustrated that the United Kingdom lacked one.

“I feel it’s my duty to do what I can for the memorial and to remember all those who didn’t come home,” Mr Billinge says.

I do it for the guys who never returned.”

He and his wife Sheila, with whom he has been married for over 65 years, attended the memorial’s grand opening.

The veteran, who joined the army with his father and brothers in 1939, believes it is critical to keep the memory of those who died alive, as well as to.

UK news summary from Infosurhoy

‘So many of my mates died, I’m raising money for the fellas who never came back,’ says WWII veteran Harry Billinge.

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WWII veteran Harry Billinge: ‘So many of my mates died, I’m raising money for the fellas who never came back’

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY JUNE 06 Undated handout photograph issued by the Normandy Memorial Trust of veteran Harry Billinge in 2018 returning to Gold Beach where he landed on D-Day in 1944. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 6, 2019. See PA story MEMORIAL DDay Billinge. Photo credit should read: Normandy Memorial Trust/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Read More - Featured ImageUndated handout photograph issued by the Normandy Memorial Trust of D-Day veteran Harry Billinge fundraising in St Austell High Street in Cornwall. He has received an MBE in the New Year Honours list.Harry Billinge Please credit Glyn Dewis Image via danny@veteranscharity.org.uk

WWII veteran Harry Billinge: ‘So many of my mates died, I’m raising money for the fellas who never came back’

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY JUNE 06 Undated handout photograph issued by the Normandy Memorial Trust of veteran Harry Billinge in 2018 returning to Gold Beach where he landed on D-Day in 1944. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 6, 2019. See PA story MEMORIAL DDay Billinge. Photo credit should read: Normandy Memorial Trust/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Read More - Featured ImageUndated handout photograph issued by the Normandy Memorial Trust of D-Day veteran Harry Billinge fundraising in St Austell High Street in Cornwall. He has received an MBE in the New Year Honours list.Harry Billinge Please credit Glyn Dewis Image via danny@veteranscharity.org.uk

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