A D-DAY veteran from Oxford has spoken about his role on a secret project which played a vital part in the operation.

Ted Cordery is appearing in a new film about the Mulberry harbours.

The 95-year-old, who is in Normandy today for the 75th anniversary commemorations, features in Memories of Mulberry.

Oxford Mail:

The film includes rare photographs from the archives of construction firm Wates Group, showing engineers working on the huge floating artificial harbours.

The pensioner, who served on board the Royal Navy’s HMS Belfast from 1943-1944 as a Leading Seaman Torpedoman, is one of two D-Day veterans interviewed for the film about their memories of the historic landings.

READ AGAIN: D-Day veteran praised by viewers after shedding tears on Good Morning Britain

Welcoming the use of the harbours, he said: “When I look back on my career in the Navy, I felt I spent more time fighting the sea than I did the Germans. You could never rely on it. It always turned one way or the other. The harbours minimised the possibility of this and you can’t have a better contribution than that in my opinion.”

In February Mr Cordery won the nation’s hearts with a tearful appearance on Good Morning Britain, when he recalled losing some of his comrades.

Oxford Mail:

Denying he was a hero, he told the ITV show: “I did the job to the best of my ability - thousands of others risked their lives.”

He told how he was due to join a ship carrying D-Day veterans across the Channel for the anniversary.

On June 6, 1944, British, US and Canadian forces invaded the coast of Normandy in northern France. The landings on five different beaches were the first stage of Operation Overlord - the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe - aiming to bring an end to the Second World War.

READ AGAIN: Veterans are marking 75th anniversary of D-Day

The Mulberry harbours were artificially-constructed floating docks that enabled ships carrying vital supplies, military vehicles and troops to safely anchor off the French coast, on a stretch of land lacking any safe harbours.

They were designed and constructed in secrecy by about 200,000 British engineers in the seven months leading up to the landing in June 1944, and helped soldiers who recall ‘fighting the sea’ at the same time as they battled against the Germans.

Wates Group staff have unearthed a series of rare images from its archive of its engineers constructing the harbours.

Having developed a speciality in pre-cast concrete structures, Wates supplied the concrete pier and pierhead pontoons for the Mulberry harbours.

Oxford Mail:

The harbours were designed and built at yards and docks across the country including at Southampton, in Mitcham and the West India Docks, before they were assembled at Selsey in Sussex and towed across the channel to Normandy in sections after completion in April 1944.

Wates was among an alliance of British companies that joined forces to build the harbours.

Oxford Mail:

While one harbour was destroyed in a storm after just a couple of days, the second was operational for 10 months, making a significant contribution to the Allied war effort. The harbour enabled 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles and four million tonnes of supplies to land before it was decommissioned. The video can be seen on the Wates website.

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Last night there was a D-Day commemoration at Harwell Campus and today veterans in Clifton Hampden will pay tribute to Major John Howard, who led the glider raid on Pegasus Bridge on June 6, 1944.