D-Day 80: Veteran found out WW2 in Europe was over two days before rest of the world - watch video

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Watch great-grandad Bernard read out the note, which he has vowed to keep in his family, dressed in the uniform he wore on D-Day.

A D-Day veteran found out the Nazis had surrendered and the Second World War in Europe was going to end 48 hours before the rest of the world.

Bernard Morgan, 100, was working as an RAF codebreaker in 1945 when he deciphered a secret telex which read: "The German War is now over. At Rheims last night the instrument of surrender was signed which in effect is a surrender of all personnel of the German forces - all equipment and shipping and all machinery in Germany.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Nothing will be destroyed anywhere. The surrender is effective some time tomorrow. This news will not be communicated to anyone outside the service nor to members of the press."

D-Day veteran Bernard Morgan from Crewe.D-Day veteran Bernard Morgan from Crewe.
D-Day veteran Bernard Morgan from Crewe. | Lee McLean / SWNS

Bernard, from Crewe, Cheshire, landed on Gold Beach at 6.30pm on D-Day, June 6 1944, aged 20, after he had joined the RAF two years earlier. He was stationed in Schneverdingen, Germany, when he got the message around May 6 1945. After receiving the news that the war was ending, Bernard had a big party with his comrades - celebrating into the night while being careful not to give the game away.

After the War, Bernard worked on the railways and at Crewe Alexandra where he was a turnstile operator for 57 years. He kept the note and details of his role in the war hidden for 50 years due to secrecy documents he had signed, which finally elapsed in 1994.

Bernard, who was the youngest RAF sergeant to land in Normandy in June 1944, is planning to return there with the Royal British Legion to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day in June 2024.

Hide Ad

When is the anniversary of D-Day?

June 6 2024 will mark 80 years since D-Day - the largest seaborne invasion in history and the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe.

Hide Ad

The UK will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings with a series of major commemorations and events across the UK and in France on June 5 and June 6 2024.

What events will be held in the UK to commemorate D-Day?

Portsmouth will host a major national commemorative event to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 5 2024. Members of the public have been invited to join D-Day veterans and VIP guests for the ticketed event on Southsea Common. The event will include a Royal Air Force Red Arrows flypast at around 2.30pm. The event is now sold out, however it will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK for those unable to attend.

On June 6 2024 at 2pm, the Royal British Legion will host a Remembrance Service to mark 80 years since D-Day within the grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield, Staffordshire. The Arboretum will be open as normal on the day and visitors are welcome to come and watch the service.

An air show marking 80 years since D-Day was also held in Duxford this weekend (June 1 and June 2 2024).

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.