TWO nephews of a Royal Marine killed on D-Day attended commemorations in St Austell marking the 80th anniversary of the pivotal moment in the Second World War.

A service at the town’s war memorial particularly remembered Captain James Lawry Perry.

On June 6, 1944, thousands of Allied troops stormed beaches in Normandy in the biggest seaborne invasion ever mounted.

Among the men was Captain Perry of 48 Royal Marine Commando. He was aged 22 and was the son of Sydney and Elaine Perry of Woodside, Trevone Crescent, St Austell.

Captain Perry, whose name is on the war memorial, was killed between 6pm and 6.15pm on D-Day and this was the reason for the service being held from 6pm.

St Austell Royal British Legion (RBL) president Colin Hamilton, who is also the deputy mayor of the town, said: “It was a very poignant commemoration attended by about 80 people that portrayed the huge challenges presented by D-Day and the impact on those who took part.

“The fact that Peter and David Wilson, nephews of Captain Perry, were able to attend added immensely to the occasion.

“Wreaths were laid by Cllr Julian Young, the new St Austell mayor, and by Ron Young, the chairman of St Austell RBL.

“After my address, Peter and David Wilson presented a wreath on behalf of their uncle and David gave a short account of the family and their close connection with Captain Perry.”

In his address, Cllr Hamilton detailed how Captain Perry had landed on Juno Beach during Operation Overlord and had immediately encountered fierce resistance. By the evening, after the Allies had gained the upperhand, he was in the attic of a house in Lagrune Sur Mer and preparing to move forward again.

Cllr Hamilton said: “However, at around 18:15hrs, Captain Perry, before he could engage in the assault, was shot by a sniper and was sadly killed.

“Captain Perry played a major role in the liberation of the town and is buried in the Bayeux War Cemetery nearby.

“His role in the liberation of the town was recognised by the townspeople who named a street after him. It was called Rue du Capitaine Perry and remains by that name to this day.

“Captain Perry’s sacrifice, along with the bravery of many others, played a crucial role in the success of the D-Day landings. We remember and honour his and their courage and their dedication to freedom.

“Today, we are very fortunate to have two members of Captain Perry’s family present, who have travelled from Basingstoke and Spain to be here. Sadly, David and Peter never knew their uncle but they were a very close family and their mother, Captain Perry’s sister, ensured that he remained ever in their thoughts.”