There was a surprise for one west Cumbria veteran as legions gathered to honour D-Day.

Whitehaven played host to seven legions and veterans groups to remember the Normandy landings and the men from the area who never came home again.

St Nicholas' Church gardens were bathed in early summer sunshine on Sunday as the nation paused to mark two minutes' silence for an event that brought freedom to the shores of Europe in 1944.

The event came as a surprise to Frank Flynn, who was the last ever president of the Whitehaven Normandy Veterans Association.

The group had ceased to run several years ago though lack of membership, but when he saw seven different British legion groups descend to honour the fallen at Normandy, he was quite moved.

He said: "I'm amazed by how much local support there is for today's event.

"I got the job of president of the Whitehaven Normandy Veterans Association quite by chance after finishing my national service in 1951, after working on the Berlin Airlift.

"In Whitehaven we used to have parades to mark D-Day which would culminate at the Civic Hall.

"Our numbers had been dwindling, so to see all the local British legion branches here today is wonderful."

Also attending was Mike Starkie, elected mayor of Copeland, who was there in the capacity of member of the newly-formed Seascale and Sellafield Royal British Legion branch.

He said: "I have never seen so many Royal British Legion standards all together in one place.

"We have more here today, than at last year's Remembrance Sunday events in the town."

Sunday's commemoration was supported by British legion branches of Bransty, Seascale and Sellafield, Egremont and District, Harrington, Workington, Wath Brow, Brampton and the Royal Engineers Association of West Cumbria.

Members of the public and those living in the square around St Nicholas' gardens also watched on from their windows.

The next time to honour ex-service personnel will be on Armed Forces Day in Workington on June 26.