A war veteran has spoken of his memories ahead of the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

Tom Hannah, of Simpson’s Cross, turns 90 next February but can still vividly recall June 6, 1944.

“We were practically kept behind bars for six weeks beforehand,” said Tom, who served as a Royal Engineer.

“They were afraid we’d reveal information but we had nothing to give away.

“All we knew was the landings would take place as soon as the weather was good.”

Tom, who was born in Donegol, said there was no real celebrations from the men involved.

“We all had a job do and we did it,” he said.

“I just remember the ships being so crowded we had to stand on the edge of the harbour.

“Eventually one captain invited us on board and gave each section a bottle of rum, so at least I had a good drink.”

However, Tom explained that for many the war didn’t end there, and just three weeks later he was nearly killed during a mission to Holland to clean the beaches and re-wire bridges.

“We were working under shellfire all night,” he explained.

“Many men were killed and I ended up in hospital for weeks afterwards.”

He returned to Normandy on the 40th anniversary of D-Day but said he was hurt to see people clambering on the graves: “It affected me to see that,” said Tom. “The soldiers who died deserved more respect.”

He added that he has since re-visited the scene three times for ‘clarity’.

He also spoke with sadness at what he calls ‘a lack of gratitude’ for those who fought in the war. “It makes a mockery of the fact so many lost lives,” he said.

“The people in power don’t seem to care about those who made this country good.”

Tom, who says he still does up to 150 sit-ups per day, remains modest about his time in the war.

“I’m proud to think I did my job well,” he said.

“But I’m no hero, I just did what was necessary.”