MORE than 100 Army Cadets spent their half term visiting France to take part in commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Durham Army Cadet Force (ACF) travelled to Normandy to research Operation Overlord, a key offensive in securing victory during the Second World War.

They visited Pointe-du-Hoc, Omaha Beach, the Longues Battery, Gold Beach, and Pegasus Bridge and Museum, all key locations in the D-Day landings.

They also had the chance to visit the Bayeux and Ranville war cemeteries.

The tour finished with a Drumhead Commemorative Parade at Arromanches, overlooking the Mulberry Harbour, where speeches by war time leaders were read and a two-minute silence was observed before a wreath was laid by the youngest cadet.

The Northern Echo:

Cadet Colour Sergeant Nicholas Robinson, 16, from Consett at Bayeaux war cemetery

Cadet Colour Sergeant Nicholas Robinson, 16, from Consett said: “The experience has been overwhelming, to listen to the stories of D Day was amazing. The men were so brave that I have the upmost respect for."

Cadet Staff Sergeant Ben Harbottle, 17, from Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, said: “To be part of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings was an absolute pleasure. To represent the ACF at one of the most historic sites in military history was a honour. Seeing the beaches were the landings took place definitely put it in to perspective of how much of an achievement it was."

Colonel Brian Kitching, Commandant Durham ACF said “The cadets have had a thought provoking few days in France that will stay with them for years to come, I am thrilled to hear all of the positive comments from the trip. Thank you to all the volunteers for making it happen."