June 6th 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the pivotal moment in WWII that began the liberation of German-occupied France and paved the way for the Allied victory and the end of the war.
Also known as the Normandy Landings and codenamed Operation Neptune, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history, with soldiers from Britain, US and Canada contributing to the landing. 10,000 soldiers were injured and over 4,000 were killed during the operation.
While the history books remember D-Day as a critical moment in the liberation of France, the soldiers who returned home remember it differently. The painful memories they felt were best left bottled up and unspoken. In fact, a recent study by Ancestry found that one in three veterans never spoke with their families about what they went through and those with ancestors involved in D-Day have gone on to have significant knowledge gaps around their family member’s experience.
To mark the anniversary of D-Day and to help Brits discover and remember their ancestors who served, we have a released a special D-Day collection. Available for free to all UK and Irish users, the collection includes over 100 records sourced from 42 different regiments around the UK. The collection provides fascinating and sometimes harrowing insight into the operation including a series of handwritten notes from navy captains, and close-up photos of those on the front line.
The collection aims to help tell the story of the day where traditional records are not yet available, as well as offering users the chance to discover the important role their ancestor played in D-Day.
Search the D-Day War Diaries and Photographs, 1944 collection now on Ancestry.