Petersfield woman is fundraising so her grandfather can visit Normandy to collect a medal

By Post in Local People

A PETERSFIELD woman is fundraising so her grandfather and other veterans can visit the Normandy beaches for this summer’s D-Day commemorations.

And for his part in the landings on June 6, 1944, Bernard Shaw, 92, will be made a member of the Légion d’honneur by the French government.

Megan-Beth Millar is helping fundraise for the Return to Normandy (RtN) organisation, so her grandfather Bernard and other local veterans can visit the invasion beaches.

Megan of Wheatear Drive said: “RtN organised an amazing trip last year which my grandfather went on, it was the first time for many years he had been back and I was able to go with him.

“It was the most humbling and emotional experience I have ever had.

“And I will never forget the immense gratitude of the French people we met and the stories we heard from them and other veterans.

“This year my grandfather is to be awarded the Legion d’honneur and I and my husband Iain are lucky enough to be going.”

“He joined the Royal Navy in 1943 when he was called up - he would have joined earlier but was too young and his mother wouldn’t let him.

“Before D-Day he was aboard a boat converted into a minesweeper waiting at Langstone Harbour. There were so many boats he says you could have almost walked across the harbour on them.

“On D-Day his boat took troops to Courselle - sur-mare and helped tow sections of the manmade concrete Mullberry harbour across the English Channel to Arromanche.”

She is hoping to help raise about £40,000 so that the veterans won’t have to worry about transport and accommodation costs and have all the support they need, such as medical staff.

As part of the fundraising, Megan is hosting a Fizz and Shopping night in the Folly Upstairs on Thursday, March 7, 7pm to 10pm.

She said: “Petersfield clothing, lingerie and cosmetics shops will be there, and there will be a raffle and a free glass of fizz and nibbles.”

Tickets cost £10 and are available via email at [email protected]/* */ or from the Folly Upstairs now, and on the night, Butterflies Lingerie and Blue Tree clothing shop in Pages Court and Halsa cosmetics, London House, Chapel Street.