D-Day landings veteran shares experiences with Hainault schoolchildren
PUBLISHED: 10:37 12 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:02 12 September 2014
A veteran of the D-Day landings who was also present at the Nuremberg Trials visited a school to share his experiences.
Leslie Sutton, 90, stopped by at the Forest Academy, in Harbourer Road, Hainault, to meet Year Eight, Nine and 10 students.
Joined by his friend Philip Son, he discussed his memories before answering questions.
Mr Sutton, who lives in Gants Hill, said: “It was absolutely excellent. I was very proud to be able to pass on a little bit of history to some very good listeners.”
The veteran signed up with the RAF Regiment during the Second World War and was 21 when he landed on Omaha Beach with the American First Army.
His eldest brother Ronald also served during the conflict, but was sadly shot down and killed over Cologne, Germany, in 1942.
The veterans’ other older brother served in the RAF in the Middle East and his youngest sibling was in the Army during the Berlin Airlift in the late 1940s.
Mr Sutton said: “I’d like to think my experiences were not any different to those of the tens and thousands of others.”
The resident’s memories of the Nuremberg trials, which tried prominent Nazis in 1945 and 1946, are also clear in his mind.
He said: “I escorted a lot of people to the trials.
“At the time I don’t think I realised what I was witnessing. It was the greatest military tribunal the world had ever seen and it still is 70 years later.”
Katherine Love, head of history at Forest Academy, said the school was “very pleased” to welcome Mr Sutton and that the students “gained a lot” from the talk.
Mr Sutton added: “As Churchill once said, anything that is forgotten can be repeated and that is why veterans like me want to pass it on to the next generations.”
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