THE 80th anniversary of D-Day has sparked memories in Largs of the day the town unveiled a new information panel in tribute to the Normandy landings.

The News was there in June 2019 to cover the special event, alongside WW2 veteran Jack Ransom, local Legion members John Hutchison and Miller Paterson, and North Ayrshire's Provost Ian Clarkson.

All have passed away since the 75th anniversary commemoration.

The event was also organised by the Largs branch of Royal British Legion Scotland, which has also disbanded, and is now part of the organisation's Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Stevenston branch.

The panel was installed in front of Vanduara, the former hotel on Greenock Road, which played a crucial role in the planning of the invasion.

As well as a brief history of the town's involvement at the time, the panel included some augmented reality in the shape of a Catalina seaplane.

Watch the video of the unveiling below.

During the war, Vanduara, which is now a private house, and another Largs hotel, Hollywood, were designated as shore establishments by the Admiralty and designated HMS Monck and HMS Warren.

HMS Monck became Combined Operations HQ for the Allied forces and Valduara was fitted with a 27-line telephone exchange to cope with the communications needed.

After Dunkirk, it became apparent that Combined Operations would be the only way of liberating Europe from the Nazis.

Conventional thinking at the time was that modern weaponry wouldn't allow for an opposed landing, and training had been allowed to lapse. So training units for this type of warfare were set up throughout the Firth of Clyde area.

On 23 June 1943, a conference called Operation Rattle took place at HMS Warren. It was chaired by Lord Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, and was attended by the most senior of officers from all services, both British and American.

At this conference, the general details of a landing in France were established and action towards this goal set in motion.

Another decision taken at Rattle was to set up a Combined Operations Staff college at HMS Warren to train the senior officers of all the Allied nations in amphibious warfare.

More than 1,700 officers passed through the course and went on to take part in the D-Day landings and air operations.

In London, the drafting and payroll departments of Combined Operations were created in August 1943 and called HMS Copra.

Unfortunately the threat posed by Germany's V1 missiles on London made it impossible to keep HMS Copra in London and most of it was transferred to Largs and established at The Moorings.

It employed around 300 staff from the Women's Royal Naval Service, the 'Wrens', most of whom were billeted at the Skelmorlie Hydro.

Combined Operations continued in Largs until the end of 1946 when the centre was transferred to Rosneath.