THE recent commemorations for the 75th anniversary of D-Day reminded people of the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought to allow us to live in peace.

However, as well as those who physically fought to help secure victory, there were many others whose commitment was every bit as important.

One of them was Harold Holiday who arrived in Normandy the day after his 21st birthday.

His role was to install, man and repair long-distance communication equipment, vital for what was a complex operation.

"I remember swinging from side to side off a rope ladder from the Empress Call, which was anchored off Normandy. The night before had seen one of the worst storms at sea in memory," said Harold who, despite being 96 retains a crystal clear memory of his experiences.

On landing on Gold Beach, he was then transported to a field station in a field near Crepon where he dug-in for two days.

"We encountered shelling on the way but there was no time to feel scared, I just hoped that one of them didn't land on us," said Harold, who now lives in Ramsbottom's Lavender Hills Care Home.

It wasn't just the sound of enemy fire that had an impact.

"We were under the aerial route of Halifaxs and Manchesters and the ground used to shake every time one went over. We could also hears the guns at Calais in the distance."

His next stop was at a base, one of which had been left in a "right state" by the retreating Germans.

"They took all the document relating to the telephone and telegraph exchange and other equipment. I'd never even laid hands on such equipment before .

"It took us three weeks to get it all sorted out and we worked until we dropped and then headed to Ghent."

Thankfully, Harold returned home safely and went on to marry his girlfriend Elizabeth. They set up home in Manchester Road, Bury and went on to have a son and a daughter.

"Communication were vital in D-Day and I'm proud to have played my part," he said.