D-Day hero, 103, remembers Normandy landings on amphibious truck

A 103-year-old D-Day veteran was driven around Ashbourne in an amphibious truck like the one he drove during the Normandy landings. Bill Milward, who lives in the town, was given the chance to ride the vehicle, which had been driven up from Peterborough for his big day after a group of friends, led by Clare Tuck, arranged it. His journey began at Darley Moor where crowds gathered as Bill was helped into the DUKW truck by a cherry picker and a group of firefighters from Ashbourne fire station.

The DUKW truck was used by allied forces to land on the Normandy beaches and ferry troops across rivers and other bodies of water. They first saw service in 1942. Mr Milward, of Peak View Drive, boarded the truck at Darley Moor at noon before setting off toward Ashbourne, where toured the streets to wave at passers-by.

The route went from Darley Moor to Clifton Road, then onto Station Road, then to Church Street and up past the Market Place. They then turned right onto King Street and down Hall Lane, on to Park Road before following Compton into Dig Street, St John Street, back to Park Road and finished up at the fire station. Speaking on the day, Paul Holmes, watch manager at Ashbourne fire station, said: “Bill is very mobile himself, the main thing we did was just help him over the threshold.

“Without a shadow of a doubt it is important to remember people like Bill.

It honours him, but it’s also important to keep the memory alive for younger generations.

“It was a truly courageous achievement.”

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