Cover of landing page - Jack & Sharon

80 Years Since D-Day


Your support can honour the past and protect the future

On the 80th anniversary of the historic military operation that changed the course of the Second World War, RBL invites you to remember those who were part of D-Day.

Your support means we can be here for them — and for every member of the Armed Forces community — whenever they need us.


D-Day 80 Appeal: Generations of Courage

Join us in honouring those who have served their country, whether 80 years ago or today, as we bring them together to share their stories across the generations.

Jack and Sharon

Jack Mortimer is now 100 years old but was just 20 when he landed on Sword Beach in Normandy on D-Day in 1944. In this video, he shares his memories with Sharon Harland, 52, who in turn tells her own story of being deployed in Northern Ireland five decades later.

Veteran Jack on D-Day 80 years on

Your support can honour the past and protect the future

On the 80th anniversary of the historic military operation that changed the course of the Second World War, RBL invites you to remember those who were part of D-Day.

Sidney Cornell family

Preparing the way: Sidney’s story

On the night of 5th June 1944, Sidney Cornell — a private in the 7th Battalion, Parachute Regiment — was part of an advance unit dropped behind enemy lines in Normandy. Their mission was to defend two bridges in preparation for the Allied invasion.

Sidney and his comrades fought valiantly from the early hours of 6th June, taking ferocious bombardment, until finally being relieved in the evening.

But his bravery did not end there. In the Normandy campaign following D-Day, Sidney was assigned the duty of runner, which meant ferrying messages between commands. The work was extremely dangerous, but Sidney did not flinch. He went above and beyond in his dedication to his comrades and his country — earning the Distinguished Combat Medal for his actions.

Tragically, Sidney was killed in action on 7th April, 1945, and he is buried in Becklingen War Cemetery in Germany.


Your gift today could support the families of those who have served — and, like Sidney, fallen — in combat.


A hard-won recovery: Bronwyn’s story

Bronwyn was born many decades after D-Day, but she still draws inspiration from the bravery of those, like Sidney, whose courage and determination won the day in June 1944. “Sidney’s generation never gave up,” she says. “And you can apply that to your own life and pursuing your individual dreams and passions.”

Bronwyn was one of the last British medics out in Afghanistan and represented the RAF in a sport she excelled in: Taekwondo. That was until a serious hip injury changed everything.

Even when she was told she would never be pain-free again, Bronwyn refused to give up. But after struggling for years, she was medically discharged from the RAF. This news shattered her dreams of marching beside her military parents on Remembrance Sunday and tore her life apart.

But in the depths of despair, Bronwyn did not give in. She applied to the Battle Back Centre, RBL’s adaptive sports facility, and with the help of the staff and her fellow residents there, she turned her life around.

Your gift could help the RBL Battle Back Centre keep providing vital support that helps injured, wounded and sick personnel recover, adapt and find a way forward.

Marie Scott

On the line: Marie’s story

In June 1944, Marie Scott was just 17 when she found herself in tunnels deep under cliffs at Fort Southwick – the communications ‘nerve centre’ of Operation Overlord. Having only just joined the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRENS), Marie was a radio operator at the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Portsmouth on that fateful day.

Marie was on duty for 24 hours that day, working on the main switchboard, continuously relaying messages to and from the Normandy beaches. “I needed to stay on the line to get a response,” she recalls. “When they responded, in my earphones, I was on the beaches in Normandy.”

Over the years, she has been honoured and applauded for her role in the D-Day landings. She has received the Légion d’honneur and has been personally thanked by people in France and the Netherlands.

On D-Day 80, Marie will be returning to the beaches of Normandy, as she has done many times over the years. She will be paying her own personal tribute to the men whose courage she heard first-hand on a summer’s day 80 years ago.


No matter how long ago someone may have served their country, we owe them a lifetime of care. Your gift today could support someone like Marie who gave their all.

Ashley Martin with collecting bucket in Tube station - Portrait

A passion for helping others: Ashley’s story

Ashley Martin was just 21 years old when he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps — hearing Marie’s story, he reflects that he approached his work in the same spirit as she did. “You do your job and just get on with it,” he says, “and I’m sure that’s how Marie saw it. She was only 17, but she just did what was required at that moment.”

It was a desire to work for the benefit of others that motivated Ashley. “I’ve always enjoyed helping people,” he says. “Being able to do my part and still be able to help others was the main thing that inspired me to enlist in the British Army.”

When he fell into financial difficulties a few years ago — unable to put food on the table for his family — Ashley reached out to RBL. We were proud to be able to offer him help just as he had helped others. We provided Ashley with food vouchers and helped him to get on top of his gas and electricity bills. “RBL’s help went a long way for my family and I was able to turn my life around,” he says.


Financial support from RBL can be truly life-changing for someone like Ashley — will you send a gift today to help a member of the Armed Forces family experiencing hard times?


Share this page with someone

See some of the many ways we can help – thanks to you

Back to top