The Army Benevolent Fund marks the 80th anniversary of Operation Overlord with a special podcast presented by Harry Bucknall. Journalist and historian, Sir Max Hastings, joins together with former military leaders, D-Day veterans, and families, to remember the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. 

Sir Max Hastings outlines the challenges the Allies faced, the hurdles that had to be overcome, and the significance of D-Day itself which “ranks with the great battles of history.” 

This podcast includes the first-hand accounts of 100-year-old Normandy veteran, Rear Admiral John Roberts CB, and contributions from former Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Michael Jackson and former Chief of the Defence Staff, General the Lord Richards of Herstmonceux. The late Major General Logan Scott-Bowden recalls the hazardous scouting missions that he and fellow Royal Engineers carried out in reconnaissance ahead of this major undertaking. 

Graham Fryatt shares the experiences of his father, Les, then serving with the Royal Artillery. We also hear from Jane Barkway-Harness whose father, Geoff, was a glider pilot at the legendary assault on Pegasus Bridge. The infantrymen in his glider singing bawdy songs during the flight had to be told to be quiet as they neared landing,because the Germans would hear them coming!”

Paying tribute to the brave D-Day service personnel, Jane says: “They were all incredible, and without everyone working together, of every regiment, it would never have happened.” 

Sir Max Hastings says: “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of D-Day. Our forebears richly deserve their triumph. I think it’s absolutely right to celebrate and commemorate it.” 

The ABF is grateful to Harry and his guests for telling these moving stories for our podcast.  

Skip to content