To mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the Barry at War Group is highlighting late war veteran Alan Higgins' first-hand account of the largest seaborne invasion in history.

An exhibition at Barry Island Station's Barry War Museum & Heritage Centre is devoted to the Barry-born hero's wartime experiences, reflecting on his role aboard a Landing Craft Infantry during the pivotal Normandy landings.

Born on November 25, 1923, on Burlington Street, Barry, Mr Higgins was just 16 when he joined the Royal Navy at the outbreak of WWII.

His naval journey took him through turbulent times, including being onboard HMS Edinburgh when it was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat in April 1942.

However, it was on June 6, 1944, that Mr Higgins became part of military history, participating in D-Day, or as he knew it, Operation Neptune - part of Operation Overlord.

The Barry at War Group has shared extracts from his book, 'You’re in the Navy Now', in which he describes in vivid detail this historical event.

Eighty years ago, Mr Higgins was on the bridge of a Landing Craft Infantry, Large (LCI, L) carrying 170 British troops to Sword Beach, France.

He wrote: "As dawn broke the sheer size of the operation became apparent, and it grew hour by hour.

"There were battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and dozens of other types of craft all going south; hundreds of ships with one purpose – to land and support an army in Normandy."

His first-hand experience continued with a graphic description of carnage and bravery upon reaching the beach.

He further wrote: "On the upper desk I was observing the landing with great interest when all hell broke loose.

"As I ducked back into the wireless office for cover we sustained a direct hit.

"The usual smell of cordite and the cries of wounded men came from No. 3 troop space where a shell had entered the packed space and exploded, leaving wounded and dying men as the shrapnel made its exit from the port to the starboard side."

Mr Higgins passed away in 2021 at the age of 97, but his powerful memoirs continue to serve as stark reminders of the incredible bravery shown by so many like him.

The Barry at War Group's D-Day commemoration will be held on Sunday, June 9, from 10am to 4pm at the Barry War Museum & Heritage Centre.

Free admission is available to all.