Councillor on a very personal journey to mark D-Day


Cllr Morgan’s grandfather, the late James Kaminski

Labour’s deputy group leader, Councillor Stephen Morgan, newly elected councillor for Charles Dickens, will be following in his grandfather’s footsteps as he sets out for France this weekend with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth as part of the official delegation to Caen.
The civic visit is part of a series of activities to mark the 72nd anniversary of the landings. D-Day was the start of the largest seaborne invasion in history –
the operation led to the liberation from Nazi control of German occupied north western Europe and contributed to the Allied victory on theWestern Front.

Cllr Morgan’s grandfather, the late James Kaminski, a Portsmouth resident all his life, was one of the hundreds of men who left the shores of the Solent for the coast of northern France on 6 June 1944 as part of the Normandy Landings, code-named ‘Operation Neptune’. James Kaminski landed on Juno Beach on D-Day with the Royal Army Service Corps. He had joined the army just four months previously where he drove a variety of vehicles. On 7 June 1944 he turned 17 years of age during the conflict in northern France. Later in life he was a founding and active member of the Portsmouth branch of the Normandy Veterans Association and local British


Cllr Morgan holding his grandfather’s medals

Cllr Stephen Morgan said:

“I feel hugely honoured to have the opportunity to join the delegation going to Caen to mark our respects on behalf of the City. I will be paying tribute with colleagues to all those who gave their lives in this operation which started the liberation of mainland Europe.
But this will be a very emotional journey for me also paying my respects for my late grandfather’s efforts. He like many others gave so much to our great city and our country, and it is important their stories continue to be passed on through these anniversaries and other important civic events”.

The city’s delegation will be hosted by Mr Joël Bruneau, Mayor of Caen. Cllr Morgan intends to take his grandfather’s medals with him on the trip to show his French hosts as part of the anniversary commemorations.

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