Moving Portraits Of D-Day Veterans Taken At The Locations Where They Fought

William Bray of the 7th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, Drop Zone N, Ranville. This photograph was taken on 6 June 2013, 69 years to the day after Bray had parachuted into the fields behind him to play his part in the liberation of Europe.

Photographer Robin Savage has a collection of moving portraits of British D-Day veterans taken at the locations where they fought.

Taken during the 68th and 69th anniversaries of the Normandy landings, ‘The Last of the Liberators’ features the veterans captured at the exact spots where they risked their lives to secure peace for Europe 70 years ago.

The portraits are now published in a book of the same name, which was recently released to coincide with the 70th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June, 2014.

Laden with emotion and poignancy, they serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the soldiers, which forever changed the course of history.

An exhibition of 15 photographs is currently on display at IWM Duxford til 31 December 2014.

View a selection of images below and purchase the book here.

Albert Jenkins, B Squadron, Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, Sherwood Rangers, Gold Beach. Jenkins was Co-driver of a Sherman tank, the first to land on Gold Beach. The tank was knocked out by a shell, and the rest of the crew were killed by machinegun fire. This German bunker is beside the place his tank was knocked out.

James Baker, DSM, 544 Assault Flotilla, Royal Marines, Bernières-sur-Mer. James was in the second wave of troops to assault Juno Beach on D-Day leading a French-Canadian regiment. They fought their way off the beach to the town of Bernières. Baker is photographed at the church in the town where he was severely injured by a mortar shell.

Gordon Newton, Légion d'honneur, 9th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, Gonneville-en-Auge. Newton was part of an advance attack in gliders which missed their target. After fighting throughout the whole campaign, he returned to Normandy to find and exhume the bodies of paratroopers killed on D-Day.

James Corrigan, 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, Rucqueville. Corrigan stands at the exact spot where he dug a foxhole to shelter from a German bombardment. During the three days he sheltered there, he was given food by the son of the farmhouse owners, Bernard. Bernard still lives at the farm, and Corrigan visits him every year on 6 June.

Nick Archdale, 7th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, Le Port. Archdale parachuted in but missed the drop zone. After crossing Pegasus Bridge he was part of heavy fighting and was one of only 11 men in his company who survived.

[via The Guardian, images by Robin Savage and captions via The Guardian]