Lessons We’ve Learned from our D-Day Veterans

06 June 2024

Eighty years ago today 5000 ships and landing craft landed over 150,000 soldiers on the beaches of Normandy and it’s probably fair to say that each and every one of them was afraid.  They had been trained for the task, but had no idea what reality awaited them as they stormed the beaches of occupied France.  D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in world history and it demanded extraordinary courage from ordinary men and women.

Those of you who follow us on social media will have learned a little about the veterans’ charity which has lived inside Cokebusters for the past 15 years.  D-Day Revisted was established in 2009 to offer financial and practical assistance to WW2 veterans who wished to return to the battlefields of Europe where they once fought and pay tribute to those they left behind.  In doing this we hoped to give our treasured veterans a platform to share their stories far and wide, so that future generations would better understand the realities of war and so seek to avoid it at all costs.

Over the years we’ve been fortunate enough to meet and get to know many British and American D-Day veterans and they have been generous enough to share some of their stories and experiences with us.  Reuniting old allies from each side of the Atlantic and giving them the opportunity to return to battlefields of Normandy together, where they had fought side by side as young men, was always a very poignant experience.  In 1944 boys from Miami, New York and Houston travelled thousands of miles from home to join with boys from Bristol, Glasgow and Chester and undertake a challenge so dangerous it might cost them their lives.  Information may have been scarce and closely guarded, but the mission was clear and they were united in their objective to liberate Europe from tyranny.

Cokebusters shares the story of the D-Day veterans charity it has supported for 15 years.

During D-Day Revisited’s fifteen years, we have learned so much from those who took part in the Normandy Campaign and we feel hugely privileged to have had the opportunity to benefit from their wisdom and experience.  As we begin to say farewell to their generation, we will try to honour their memory by implementing some of the values they have held dear into our own company ethos…


We hope never to face dangers as grave as those of 6th June 1944, but we are endlessly inspired by the bravery shown by those who took part in the Normandy Campaign.  Despite the risk to life and with no guarantee of success, they overcame their fears and persevered towards their objective.

On the 80th anniversary of D-Day Cokebusters reflects on the lessons it has learned from the Normandy veterans.


We are fortunate enough to live in a free society thanks to the extraordinary wartime generation.  We believe we owe it to those who fought and died for our liberty eight decades ago to strive to make the most of our opportunities and be the best we can be as a company and as individuals.


The 80th anniversary of D-Day has brought representatives from all over the world together in France to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in this corner of France and won a huge victory for freedom.  Working together, the allies achieved the unachievable.  As we strengthen the relationship between our British and American operations, we are rediscovering the huge benefits of collaboration and sharing the stories of D-Day veterans from both sides of the Atlantic in recent days has brought our teams closer together.

Cokebusters reflects on the strength of the alliance between Britain and America during the Second World War


Despite setback after setback, our veterans kept going.  They kept the faith and persevered against all odds, believing that if they kept moving forward then one day their objective would be achieved.


This is perhaps the lesson that crops up most frequently, as our time spent with the Normandy veterans has centred us in such an extraordinary way that we can quickly put whatever troubles we might be experiencing into perspective with a simple thought… “It could be worse.  We could be wading onto a beach in Normandy, soaking wet and weighed down with kit with machine guns shooting at us!

Cokebusters company ethos is informed by the lessons learned from D-Day veterans.


Most veterans we encountered wondered why they had survived when so many of their friends didn’t.  They treasured every day as if it was a bonus, because their view was that their lives could easily have been cut short on that fateful day.  Their generation underwent huge trauma, yet rarely complained.  They understood what was truly important and took pleasure in the simplest of joys that life had to offer.

As the world shines a light on the D-Day/Normandy veterans on this 80th anniversary, we too say thank you to them for all they endured eighty years ago to secure the freedom we still enjoy today.