HE IS ONE of a rapidly shrinking group of veterans still alive who risked their lives in the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Ninety-six-year-old Lyn Parry was one 156,000 soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy to drive back the armies of Nazi Germany.

The Blaenavon resident, who now lives in the Arthur Jenkins Care Home, joined the 3rd Monmouthshire regiment in 1940, aged 18.

He remained in Britain until the audacious D-Day landings on June 6.

The landings took place 75 years ago on Thursday.

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(Lyn Parry in Blaenavon.)

In the run-up to the anniversary he recalled his experience.

“It was like hell on earth,” he said.

“The fighting and the noise from the artillery from both sides was unbelievable.

“The worst was the air bursts from the German artillery.”

He added: “I never want to see that place again.”

Mr Parry fought his away through France with his regiment, before pushing into Belgium and capturing the port of Antwerp.

After the war he returned to his native Blaenavon and gained employment at I.CI. Nylons.

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(Lyn Parry with the Royal British Legion.)

Praising Mr Parry and his colleagues’ gallantry all those years ago, Cllr Alan Jones, who represents Blaenavon on Torfaen County Borough Council and is also the council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “What he went through was unbelievable.

“For what Lyn has done for his country, and the Blaenavon Branch of the Royal British Legion, we say: ‘A massive thank you.’”

The D-Day landings - codenamed Overlord - laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front and began the liberation of German-occupied France - and later Europe.

Of the 156,000 soldiers who landed in France, 83,000 were British or Canadian.