D-Day in glorious colour

D-Day in glorious colour: Vibrant images capture the lighter side of life away from the battlefield – and troops on the brink of victory

  • Photographs – brilliantly enhanced with vivid colour – capture what life was like in the run-up to D-Day
  • From skipping rope to a cheery send off, some show there was plenty to smile about away from the battlefield
  • Others are snapshots of Allied forces in the moments of final preparations while on the brink of victory 


A dip, a skip, a toast to the troops – these heartwarming images, brilliantly enhanced with vivid colour, show there was plenty to smile about away from the battlefield

Learning the ropes: soldiers enjoy a skip with children before heading off to France

Doing the rounds: locals in east London give troops bound for Normandy a cheery send-off with bottles of milk

Come on in, the water’s lovely: two US soldiers take a dip on a beach just days after the landings

Inky pinky parlez-vous: British soldiers aboard a boat on their way to the Normandy beaches enjoy the lull before the storm by swotting up on a tourist guide to France

I’ll be mother: a British soldier shares his soup with a little girl in Caen

For you, the war is over: An injured German prisoner is wheeled through the streets of Cherbourg in a handcart, much to the disdain of French civilians

Say it with flowers: two RAF officers are presented with bouquets by appreciative children in France on 10 June, 1944

Got you: British troops parade a captured German soldier in a camouflaged armoured vehicle during the fighting for Caen

Normandy’s got talent: the first organised show for troops in Normandy following D-Day


Fit for action: A last-minute limber-up on the quayside for these American soldiers before boarding the boats that will take them across the Channel

Strike a light: A cheery local helps Churchill light his cigar as he and US general Cecil Moore drive through Cherbourg

Trunk calls: So-called ‘lumberjills’, who helped to step up homegrown timber production, pile up tree trunks for the saw mills

Action men: US troops complete their final training in a picture-postcard English village shortly before D-Day

On a clear day: RAF fighters escort Lancaster bombers through summer skies on a daylight operation over occupied France after D-Day

Play time: Three boys in northern France admire their new climbing frame, an abandoned German tank, in August 1944

Chocks away: British airborne pathfinders – who land first to mark drop zones – synchronise watches on 5 June at Harwell in Oxfordshire

Pedal power: Commandos training with the bicycles they would take with them to France so they could mobilise more quickly

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