Social scientist joins crew of Tall Ship for D-Day landing commemoration

Dr Jim McDermott (pictured), an Associate Tutor with the School of Management and a member of The Royal British Legion, is setting sail to retrace the routes taken by the ships and landing craft during D-Day on 6 June 1944 to the Normandy beaches.

Dr McDermott was born during the Second World War and he saw 25 years’ service in the Army. He actually celebrates his birthday on D-Day and will be 72 years old when he stands on the Normandy beach.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust is organising a voyage in one of its Tall Ships – SV Tenacious - from 2 to 12 June to the Normandy beaches. The ship will also sail up the Caen Canal and visit Cherbourg.

The Sailing Vessel (SV) Tenacious was purpose-designed to enable able-bodied and disabled people to work together side-by-side. There are no passengers and no restrictions. Everyone gets involved in all aspects of life on board regardless of age, background, ability, or experience level.

Dr McDermott said: “The Royal British Legion was offered two places and to my absolute delight I was allocated a place as a crew member. I am extremely grateful to the Jubilee Sailing Trust for this fantastic opportunity to take part in commemorating a truly historic event.

“My academic interest is armed forces veterans and a great many veterans have contributed to my research; being part of this crew will be an opportunity for me to give something back. I hope to further confirm my belief that most armed forces veterans, including those who have suffered battle injuries, can still be adventurous and lead interesting and rewarding lives."