Stevenage Conservative candidate Alex Clarkson paid tribute to his grandfather at the Normandy memorial service to mark 80 years since D-Day.

Mr Clarkson travelled to northern France and the commemorative event at the British Normandy Memorial as a member of the Stevenage branch of the Royal British Legion, to remember those who fought and died on June 6, 1944, in the largest military seaborne operation ever attempted.

D-Day marked the start of the campaign to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe, and involved the simultaneous landing of tens of thousands of troops on five separate beaches in Normandy.

Among those to land on Gold Beach was Mr Clarkson's grandfather, William Arthur Clarkson, who was a gunner in the Royal Tank Regiment and was in the second wave of landings on D-Day.

"My grandfather William Arthur Clarkson from Hertfordshire landed here 80 years ago today on Gold Beach. He, like many others, risked their lives to ensure the freedoms we enjoy today," said Mr Clarkson.

"It’s been great talking to people, including some from Hertfordshire, who have shared stories, memories, and experiences.

"Although I am not in Stevenage campaigning, I am here on the Normandy beaches, commemorating those who risked and sacrificed their lives. I am exactly where I should be today.

Mr Clarkson donned the same beret his grandfather wore on D-Day.Mr Clarkson donned the same beret his grandfather wore on D-Day. (Image: Conservative party)

"Their bravery allows me to stand as a parliamentary candidate in a free and democratic world."

At the event, Mr Clarkson wore the very beret his grandfather wore in June 6, 1944, as he stormed Normandy's Gold Beach.

William Arthur Clarkson would be the only survivor when his tank was hit at the Battle of Caen, before seeing combat at the Falaise Gap and Arnhem.

After briefly returning home to marry, he returned to Germany and took part in the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

The Conservatives also announced new measures to support veterans, including a new veterans’ bill, extended tax breaks for veterans’ employers and cheaper railcards for veterans.

Mr Clarkson expressed his support for these pledges, adding: "I warmly welcome this announcement to support our veterans."

Mr Clarkson will be running against Labour candidate Kevin Bonavia, Liberal Democrat candidate Lisa Nash, and Reform UK's Peter Hopper in the general election on July 4.