A SERVICE of thanksgiving and remembrance to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day will be staged at a York church in June.

The service takes place at St Lawrence Parish Church in Lawrence Street at 11.30am on Saturday June 22, a couple of weeks after two veterans - Ken Smith and Ken Cooke - plan to go back to the landing beaches for D-Day commemorative ceremonies.

Mr Smith, 94, of Wheldrake, said it would probably be their final trip across the Channel, as their age was catching up with them.

“Mind you, we said our trip for the 70th anniversary would be our last!” he said.

His wife Gloria said Ken had not been too well and there had been a question mark over whether he would be able to make the arduous journey, but now he was determined to make the trip if at all possible.

She said they would be part of a coachload leaving York on June 4 and returning on June 8, picking up a contingent from Birmingham on the way, but the ‘two Kens’ were likely to be the only veterans travelling.

She said the pair were set to give readings at the York service, which other surviving Normandy veterans from the York area were also hoping to attend.

Iain Milne, vice chairman of St Lawrence Parochial Church Council, said it would be "in appreciation of the heroic men and women who secured our liberty and peace 75 years ago, and in remembrance of such an historic event in the nation’s history".

He said: “The service will take the form of choral matins, with singing led by a choir comprised mainly of university students and should last less than an hour.”

Meanwhile, Mr Smith said he and Mr Cooke may also do something to commemorate VE Day in York again if the city once more failed to mark the date appropriately.

The pair went with other veterans on a walkabout around York city centre last year and the year before, chatting to shoppers and visitors.

They said last year that they had met with a good response the first time out, with many people coming up to chat about their experiences, and so they had decided to do it again.