Thursday June 6 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

I am very aware that had D-Day failed and had the Nazis invaded Britain, my family would not be alive today. They would probably have been murdered in Auschwitz.

Like many people of my generation, I am increasingly aware of the bravery of those involved in D-Day. It is extraordinary to think that thousands of soldiers, sailors, pilots and many, many others performing vital and dangerous tasks, were younger than me.

I want to pay tribute to their sacrifice and courage, so to mark this important anniversary, I will be working on a series of portraits of D-Day veterans through the year.

In recent weeks I have been privileged to meet Harry Billinge, a 18 year old Sapper with the Royal Engineers, who landed on Gold Beach at 0630 on June 6 1944; Rose Davies, a 102 year old (!) who was a radio operator on D-Day; Mervyn Kersh who landed on Sword Beach, 3 days after D-Day on June 9 1944, who was introduced to me by the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX); Lance Bombardier Arthur Jones (aged 94 and in fine fettle) who drove a Sherman Tank ( a ‘Hobart Funny’) through Normandy, into Belgium and then Germany; and George Skipper (96) who fought in the Normandy Campaign and now lives at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

In June I will be in Normandy for a week or so. I will be the guest of The Normandy Institute, who are bringing British, American, Canadian and French veterans together at a chateau for a very special lunch. And on the day of the anniversary - June 6 - plans are being made for me to meet a number of D Day veterans who are being brought to Bayeux by the Royal British Legion. This will be a unique opportunity to meet them and draw their portraits.

Harry Billinge, Sapper, Royal Engineers

Rose Davies, Radio Operator

Meeting and drawing George Skipper at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

Meeting and drawing George Skipper at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

Arthur Jones, Lance Bombardier

Mervyn Kersh, Sergeant, Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

George Skipper, Royal Army Service Corps.