Seventy years ago Chester-born John Moore was just 19-years-old when he stepped on Normandy’s beaches on D-Day amid a haze of German bullets.
John, known as Jack, survived and last week returned to the UK from his home in New Zealand for the first time in 10 years to mark the Second World War battle.
His plan was to travel to France to mark June 6 1944 when thousands of Allied troops began pouring into Europe but circumstances have worked against him.
Jack, said: “I would like to go to France to hopefully catch-up with old comrades.
“I attended the 50th celebrations and this will most likely be my last chance to attend a Normandy decennial event.
“Nothing in life means as much as being back shoulder-to-shoulder with the people who had your back and you had theirs.
“It’s a comradeship born and worn with immense pride for King and country.”
More than 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy.
Many Allied fighters died in the sea just seconds after entering the water from landing craft.
Jack was a private in the Kings Liverpool Regiment South Staffordshire 2/6 Battalion, Midland Division and was wounded on August 31st at the battle of Caen.
He said: “We ran up the beach – ran like hell after being up to our waists in water.
“That was so tiring because we had backpacks on and were being fired at from all directions.
“We had to dodge bullets until we got to a point where some of us could hold them off.
“We worked extremely hard and fast digging trenches then waited until the bridgehead was established and we could capture Bayeux (the first city to be liberated).”
In the early 1950s Jack emigrated to New Zealand and worked as a stevedore at Port Lyttleton, Christchurch.
He married Margaret and they have a son, Sean and a daughter, Gabrielle.
A few years ago when earthquakes shook Chirstchurch, Jack’s home was badly damaged.
He said: “Going through the quakes was like being back in the blitz, something I’d hoped never to experience again.”
Jack is staying with nephew, Brian Moore, 57, of Ellesmere Port and his wife Hazel.
Hazel, 54, a support worker, said: “It would be amazing for Uncle Jack to make the final leg of the journey to the beaches where he proudly and bravely fought with his comrades for his country all those years ago.”
Jack’s daughter Gabrielle added: “Dad talks with great pride about serving the Queen’s father and what a great honour that was.
“For him to get back to Normandy or the UK during the remembrance services and tributes means the world to us.”