Veterans in Ashfield attended a special afternoon tea with the chairman of Ashfield District Council to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The occasion gave the survivors of that momentous day a chance to reminisce and catch up with each other.
Bill Hill, now 93, served aboard a minesweeper that cleared a path for the Allies.
He said: “We had to sweep the mines before they could come with the armada.
“There were lots of explosions. We blew them up with machine guns - the sort that you have on fighter planes.
“We would look for mines and them blast them!
“We saw lots of bodies in water - but we had to ignore them. We had to get on with what we were doing.
“It was a rum job.
“When I came home I would wake my wife up with the nightmares.
“But I have got over that now. It’s just a faint memory after all these years.”
Mr Hill, who now lives at Millington Springs Care Home in Selston, said he had watched some of the ceremony in Normandy on television before he came to the function.
“I didn’t see anyone I knew,” he quipped. “It’s a long while ago. I’m thankful I survived.”
After the war, Mr Hill worked as a miner at pits in Moorgreen and Bentinck. He now enjoys singing and water-colour painting.
See next week’s Chad for full coverage of the commemorative events.