Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to two heroic Whitehaven brothers who died in the Normandy campaign on the anniversary of D-Day.

Robert Casson and his younger brother Joseph were both killed in World War Two.

Marine Robert, 25, was fatally shot in the neck as his boat headed for Juno Beach during the landings, while eighteen-year-old Joseph died three weeks later on June 27 of wounds he had sustained six days earlier.

The pair were singled out for their heroism by Mrs May as part of a ceremony at Ver-sur-Mer to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

She said: “These young men belonged to a very special generation, the greatest generation.

“A generation whose unconquerable spirit shaped the post-war world.

“They didn’t boast. They didn’t fuss. They served.

“And they laid down their lives so that we might have a better life and build a better world.”

Private Joseph was a former tar plant attendant at the Ladysmith Coal Mine who formally enlisted on November 18, 1943 for training and was initially assigned to the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) on December 30 before transferring to the 9th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry on March 28 the following year.

He landed on Gold Beach as part of the second wave once the beach had been secured and would have passed Bayeux before being part of the battalion’s capture of Lingèvres and Les Verrières,

He was recorded as being wounded on June 21, the day after the battalion entered Tilly-sur-Seulles and succumbed to his injuries less than a week later.

Robert worked with the confectioners Rowntree’s in York as a biscuit baking machine assistant but was called up to service in the Royal Marines on February 22, 1940 as a cook because of his background.

Three and a half years later he transferred to the Commandos.

Following his death, his final burial was at Ryes Cemetery on November 13, 1944, next to Joseph.

Mrs May was speaking at a ceremony to inaugurate a new British Normany Memorial to be built near Gold Beach which will include the names of all members of the British armed forces who died in the campaign.

She was joined by French President Emmanuel Macron at the ceremony, a day before she stepped down as Conservative Party leader.