Peterborough cyclists travel to Normandy to pay tribute to D-Day veterans

Three cyclists have paid tribute to those who served during D-Day by visiting the beaches where Allied forces landed 75 years ago.

Saturday, 15th June 2019, 11:17 am
James and James Clements on their trip to Normandy
James and James Clements on their trip to Normandy

Two of them, step brothers James David Clements (38) from Peterborough, and James Angus Clements (30) from Market Deeping, completed a cycle ride from Peterborough to the Normandy beaches between June 3 and 5 to raise money for the Peterborough branch of the Royal British Legion.

The pair, who spent D-Day itself taking in the commemorations in Arromanches, said: “It was an incredible, if exhausting, experience.

“We met some fantastic people along the way and enjoyed listening to veterans share stories of their experiences in Normandy 75 years ago. It was truly humbling.

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James and James Clements on their trip to Normandy

“People have been incredibly generous both at home and in France. We are currently at £1,650 raised and counting which is much higher than the £1,000 target we had set ourselves.”

John Lawrence, who is landlord of the Blue Bell in Werrington and joint landlord of Frothblowers Micro Pub, crossed the Channel to arrive in Normandy early last Thursday morning - 75 years on from when the first Allied soldiers would have landed.

John (52) then embarked on a 140km day trip to four of the landing beaches.

He said: “Everywhere I went there was a photo of a fallen British soldier on a lamppost. The vast majority of French houses had British or American flags sticking out of them.

John Lawrence's trip to Normandy

“The day was emotional, it was moving. I had a cry many a time.

“I don’t have an uncle or brother who served at D-Day, I just think it’s important to remember people who died for us on that day. As soldiers pass away and there is less and less about it, it will be very easy for these things not to be remembered. It’s important we don’t forget.”

To donate to the fundraising appeal from James and James, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ride2normandy.

John Lawrence's trip to Normandy
James and James at Pegasus Bridge
John Lawrence's trip to Normandy