ITV's 'This Morning' joined Hector Duff and his family as he travelled through Portsmouth and onto Normandy to prepare for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. Hector's journey back to the beaches will be featured on the TV show on Thursday morning 5th June 2014 as arranged by the Isle of Man Post Office.
To commemorate D-Day Isle of Man Stamps and Coins produced a poignant set of six stamps, commemorative sheet and limited edition folder which were released on 8th of May. The stamps that were inspired by the personal experiences of veteran Hector Hugh McDonald Duff MM BEM, one of the many from the Isle of Man who was involved in D-Day and the subsequent push into Europe were produced in support of the Royal British Legion and The Normandy Veterans Association and have been carried to Normandy by Hector as he made his emotional return.
Hector's story of events, chronicled by Colonel Charles Wilson of the Isle of Man Cadet Force, describes how he looked at D-Day as a crossroads between the long war already fought and the final push at the end of World War II (WWII). His account builds a clear picture of the events that unfolded on the day he landed, from the rough Channel crossing in the Landing Craft to the realisation of the hundreds and hundreds of vessels surrounding them and his discomfort at the heavy firing and number dead and wounded already on the beach and in the water. The allied invasion of the Normandy beaches on 6th June 1944 known as Operation Overlord was the largest amphibious assault event and one of the most heroic, audacious and significant battles of WWII.
During the commemoration ceremony, Hector will be presented with the Legion of Honour Medal by French President François Hollande.
Maxine Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins said: "We are delighted with the stamps and the fact that Hector will be taking these with him on his journey. To be presented with Legion of Honour will be a proud moment for Hector and we feel privileged to be part of the occasion with him."
Please view ITV's 'This Morning' footage of Hector Duff and his return to Normandy here