A 90-year-old is currently beating Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Ed Sheeran on Amazon UK’s singles chart—but not just any 90-year-old, a D-Day veteran who’s out with a tribute to that fateful day in 1944. Jim Radford was just 15 during World War II’s D-Day landings—the youngest known D-Day veteran —and he wrote “Shores of Normandy” 25 years later, when he returned to the site during the anniversary and saw children playing on the beach where so many soldiers’ bodies were once scattered. The Normandy Memorial Trust re-released the song this year to mark the 75thanniversary. It’s been atop the chart for much of the week. Radford was aboard a tugboat during the invasion as part of the British Merchant Navy, which exempted tugboat crew members from the requirement of having to be at least 16 years old in order to join the war effort. “You’re not thinking about king or country, you’re not thinking about democracy,” he says of D-Day. “You’re thinking about, ‘My mates depend on me, as I depend on them.’ … Anyone who was in Normandy, we all feel that bond to each other. And especially to all the lads who didn’t come back.” The song is for them, he says. It’s also raising money for the British Normandy Memorial.
Photo Credits: Normandy Memorial Trust via Youtube