D-DAY veterans have been invited to come forward to take part in the 75th anniversary commemorations of the landings.

The Royal British Legion is calling on communities to help spread the message to D-Day veterans.

The charity announced its plans to take up to 300 Normandy veterans to France on a specially chartered ship to mark the milestone anniversary of the landings. Around175 veterans, who helped liberate France during the Second World War have already signed up to travel on the MV Boudicca, but there is still the opportunity for more to join them and the deadline for applications has been extended until Monday March 4.

Bob Gamble OBE, the Legion’s assistant director for commemorative events, said: "We believe it’s important that all veterans who contributed to the liberation of France who want to attend the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Portsmouth and Normandy are able to do so. We are delighted at the response we have received so far but we still have space for more veterans to join their comrades who shared in those challenging wartime experiences in 1944. Most importantly at this stage, we don’t want anyone who wants to take part to be left behind. If you have a friend or family member who is a D-Day veteran, or indeed if you are one yourself, please get in touch with the Legion and find out how to be a part of this historic trip."

The MV Boudicca will depart from Dover on June 2, taking in events in Poole and Portsmouth, before crossing the English Channel for the veterans on board to attend the commemorations taking place in Normandy on June 6.

Veteran Denis Rose, from Wirral, Merseyside, was a convoy signalman aboard the Queens’ Cross tug, and spent almost three days recovering the bodies of US soldiers from the water. Denis, who will take part in the trip, said: "I don’t see myself as a hero, it was a job, like a plumber or a painter, I was just in the navy. War is a rough thing to go through, but I volunteered for it. But I’m delighted to be going on The Royal British Legion’s voyage to Normandy - I’ve never been to sea since I left the navy, so it’s a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to meeting other veterans."

Veterans interested in travelling on the ship are invited to contact the Legion for an application form, which can also be downloaded from the Legion’s website. Each veteran will be entitled to door-to-door travel for themselves and one guest or carer, at no cost. The journey is being funded by The Royal British Legion’s LIBOR grant, in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence and Arena travel.