IT was a crucial turning point in the Second World War.

Thousands of British and allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in a day that saw many lose their lives in order to halt advancing German forces.

Today, Furness marks 75 years since the intervention, with hundreds set to gather for a special event.

It will come days after cadets from Barrow, Dalton and across the UK ventured back to the beaches in northern France to learn about that historic day and hear the stories of heroes who gave everything to support and protect their comrades and their future.

Ulverston's Market Cross will be at the centre of the commemoration, when people from all over Furness - including the family of a D-Day veteran - will gather for two minutes' silence at 10.45am following a short parade.

Norman Bishop-Rowe, the chairman of Ulverston's Royal British Legion branch said: "All the freedoms we enjoy today are as a result of the efforts of our troops in the war.

"This is about people coming together to recognise what they did for us."

The cadets, aged between 13 and 18 travelled to visit the sites of conflict and sacrifice made by men not much older than themselves. They visited five beaches on the Normandy coast, including Omaha Beach, the setting for the opening of Saving Private Ryan.

The group also visited Pegasus Bridge, the place forces took control in only 15 minutes in an effort that prevented German forces access to the Normandy coast.

Relatives of one of the soldiers involved in the operation to capture the bridge will be present at the memorial in Ulverston today.

Captain Rachel Diss, of Cumbria Army Cadets, said: "This group of army cadets, learning about this one day in the history of the Second World War and in doing so demonstrated the utmost respect and interest in the soldiers who had fought for them.

They gained so much more from this educational experience having been there, seen the ground and the coastal challenges and listened to the stories about the heroes who had fought on D-Day and the campaign which followed.

"Myself and their adult volunteers were immensely proud of the maturity and integrity shown from these young citizens of Cumbria during this visit.”

The D-Day landings took centre stage on the front pages of newspapers up and down Britain.

As the troops set about their mission, North Western Evening Mail ran the headline: "Liberation of Europe begins".

The report said: "The first stage of in the liberation of Europe began early this morning when Allied armies started to land on the northern coast of France.

"The landings, it is understood in London, were made in Normandy between 6am and 8.15am, minesweepers clearing the way.

"Allied bombers, roaring over London at dawn, gave Londoners the first hint that big events were under way."

The June 6 edition noted "News of the invasion was received in Barrow and District with suppressed excitement and overshadowed all other activities.

"Prayers were recited in many of the schools in the town for the success of the invasion."