A D-Day veteran who lives near Newtown said he is "glad something has been done" to commemorate those who took part in the D-Day landings 77 years ago.

A new memorial, which cost almost £30 million and was funded by the UK Government and private benefactors, was opened this week on a hillside overlooking Gold Beach, to remember the 22,442 servicemen and women under British command who died during the landings and the Battle of Normandy in the summer of 1944.

Kerry resident Laurence Firth, who recently celebrated his 97th birthday, was one of the tens of thousands of soldiers to land on Gold Beach in France.

"I was all amongst it," he said of the landings. "I jumped out of the boat and the water was up to my waist. The kit bag on my shoulder was wet through and I could hear all the bombs going off. It was a proper war. Even at night bombs were all going off."

During the war, Mr Firth was a radiologist in a hospital field of more than 600 beds near Bayeaux which was loacted near other field hospitals for Canadian, American and French soldiers. He recalls sleeping on the x-ray tables after working "day and night" treating injured soldiers. The Légion d'Honneur recipient remembers a "VIP visit" to the hospital field which involved none other than Prime Minister Winston Churchill smoking his iconic cigar who was a passenger in a Land Rover driven by General Montgomery.

Designed by British architect Liam O’Connor, the structure has been built at Ver-sur-Mer in France and its opening was livestreamed to those who cannot attend due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Veterans and their families gathered at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Sunday to watch the event remotely on a large screen and to mark the 77th anniversary of the D-Day landings.