MANY Huddersfield war veterans will be able to visit the Second World War battlefields this summer, thanks to the national lottery.
Veterans across the UK will be returning to battlefields and cemeteries in France this June, to mark the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, which sparked the end of the war.
On June 6, 1944, 2,727 ships sailed to the Normandy coast and 156,000 men landed on the first day.
Many veterans are now pensioners, who would struggle to pay for the trip.
But many of them now can, because the Lotto's New Opportunities Fund today made available £10m to pay for UK veterans to return to the battlefields where they fought during the 1939 to 1945 conflict.
For many, it will be the last chance to visit the sites.
All veterans who are UK residents and saw active service with, or alongside, British and Allied armed forces will be eligible for the money.
It will also pay for spouses and carers to accompany them.
War widows and widowers will also be able to claim.
The scheme is called Heroes Return and is the first part of a larger initiative by the New Opportunities Fund, entitled Veterans Reunited.
The Veterans Reunited scheme will use Lotto cash to set up projects for both young people and war veterans which mark the courage and sacrifice of Britain's wartime generations.
Bob Mortimer, chairman of the Royal British Legion's South and West Yorkshire branch, is a tour operator and will be running battlefield trips for veterans throughout the summer.
He said the visits to Normandy, plus First World War battlefields and graves at Ypres and the Somme, were extremely important to veterans.
He said: "It is very important to them and their families.
"We get a lot of requests from people coming on trips to find the site of their grandfather's grave, so that they can visit it.
"I think this funding is a good idea, if people will apply.
"Many older people don't have passports and maybe don't know you can get one-year passports specially for these trips.
"The only problem people will face is finding a hotel. Thousands of people are coming and rooms have been booked for months. So the advice now is to get in quickly."
Mr Mortimer said Veterans Reunited was a good thing, because it educated young people about the war.
He added: "It is important to educate people. Without a doubt these things should never be forgotten."
* Anyone who wants to apply for money to pay for a battlefield visit should phone the Heroes Return free hotline on 0800 169 2277.