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D-Day: Before and after in images

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A story of ingenuity and devastating loss of life, the moving history of D-Day – its impact and its cost – is captured here on film in vivid detail. Compiled from the Mirrorpix archives, this collection charts the detailed preparation, the brave action and the enduring aftermath of the Second World War's Operation Overlord.

People in East Ham have been working together to provide a worthwhile send-off for troops passing through their district to embark for France. Money has been raised to provide cigarettes, drinks and food. Some people have contributed their weeks’ rations. Housewives are cutting sandwiches; the children are helping to wash up. RAOC man John Frost, or Frosty as he was known, recalled the journey round the North Circular, with crowds of people waving flags and offering cups of tea as the convoy made its slow passage. It also passed the Ford factory at Dagenham, where the workers had rigged up a banner bearing the words ‘Good Luck Boys’.

Troops of 3rd Infantry Division land on Queen Red beach, Sword area, early on 6 June 1944, the first British formation to land at Sword Beach. In the foreground are sappers of 84 Field Company Royal Engineers, part of No. 5 Beach Group, identified by the white bands around their helmets. Behind them, medical orderlies of 8 Field Ambulance, RAMC, can be seen assisting wounded men. In the background commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade can be seen disembarking from their small landing craft (LCI(S)).

British troops under fire on Juno beach at Normandy, soon after zero hour. The German aircraft visible in the sky over the beach has just bombed a house, now in flames. In the foreground is a column of German prisoners just captured. The RAF were firmly in evidence with fighter planes to protect the troops from such attacks, some of which inevitably slipped through.

Winston Churchill seen here in deep conversation with Admiral Ramsay on their way to the Mulberry harbour on Sword Beach.

Canadian troops rest under a hedge in the Normandy countryside following bitter close-quarter combat with the Germans, 1 July 1944. The sunken roads and hedges of Normandy (known locally as the bocage) made ambush tactics easier and therefore favoured the German defenders, making the Allied advance difficult.

Two soldiers, casualties of the Normandy Landings, enjoy a cigarette after disembarking from the hospital ship, 12 June 1944.

Extracted from D-Day: Before and After.

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