Lympstone Military Wives Choir and Chivenor Military Ladies Choir marked the 80th D-Day anniversary with performances in Normandy.

Travelling to France for this significant remembrance, some of the choir members had never been there before.

Anxious and excited, they'd spent the past six months learning a series of poignant songs, reflective and also thematic of the 1940s, to honour the momentous occasion.

Their journey began with an informal performance aboard the ferry, led by their musical director, Rachel.

They were put to their paces with a three-hour rehearsal on the ferry, witnessed by some interested passengers, and a few unlucky ones trying to sleep off their early starts in the lounge next door.

The Choirs arrived in Ouisterham and the following morning set off for the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer.

The choirs at the British War Memorial, Ver-Sur-MerThe choirs at the British War Memorial, Ver-Sur-Mer (Image: The GMC)

They all remarked how the memorial itself is beautiful in its simplicity of white stone, and its impressive scale, with a layout that compels your gaze down to the beaches.

The recent addition of the Standing with Giants installation, with 1,475 silhouettes representing the servicemen who perished under British command on D-Day, added a palpable sense of gravity to the choirs.

They sang beneath the open skies, which, thankfully were dry yet windy, and although the odd tear was shed as they sang, their sound filling the memorial was a special moment for all of them.

The next performance saw the choir at the Café Gondree, situated by Pegasus Bridge.

Their route included a battlefield tour following the chronicles of a C choir member's grandfather, part of the heroic Operation Tonga.

They managed to sneak in a few more unofficial performances, in Ranville's war grave cemetery, where they made good use of the church's acoustics.

Their final appearance took place at Chateau La Cheneviere, another successful performance that was met with great approval, the choir states.

Performing at Chateau la ChenevierePerforming at Chateau la Cheneviere (Image: The GMC)

They celebrated their tour with a delightful meal post-performance, sadly in the absence of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, who had stayed there a few days later.

The trip concluded with a final choir performance in the arrival hall at Portsmouth ferry port.

Many will remember the remarkable journey and an 80th D-Day commemorative tour they'll forever be proud of.

It was also a source of unity for this wonderful group of singing ladies, a template for their future adventure to Arras and The Somme planned for 2025.

Lympstone choir rehearse weekly in the Gordon Messenger Centre on a Wednesday, while the Chivenor choir on a Tuesday evening in North Devon. Members of the choirs point out that, no audition is necessary if you fancy joining them, just a love of song and lots of cake.

Their upcoming performances include the Armed Forces Day on June 29 in Exmouth, followed by the Corp Families weekend in September at CTCRM Lympstone.