A retired barber who survived dozens of close shaves during the Second World War says people must never forget to 'take a stand against tyranny in all its forms'.
Arthur Ansell, who spent four years aboard HMS Nelson, will pay his respects to fallen comrades, including his younger brother, this Sunday at Hanworth War Memorial.
"It's important people continue to remember the sacrifices made by so many because you have to take a stand against tyranny in all its forms," said the 86-year-old founder member of Hanworth Royal Marines Association.
Mr Ansell joined the Navy as an 18-year-old in 1941. His ship survived heavy bombardment off the coasts of Italy and Africa and he was on board when General Eisenhower and Marshal Bagdolio signed the Italian capitulation in 1943.
But, despite taking part in the D-Day landings and providing crucial cover to military convoys in the Mediterranean, he insists he had a quiet war.
"I worked in the ship's magazine passing cordite up to the gunners so I didn't see much but I could hear the bombs dropping around us," said Mr Ansell, of Wordsworth Road, Hampton.
"We spent 10 days bombarding Caen during the D-Day landings, but the hardest bit was getting there.
"The Channel was very congested so the captain decided to take an unusual route through the Needles.
"We had to empty all the oil and ammunition to lift the ship - which was the Navy's largest battleship at the time - out of the water, before replacing it all, which was back-breaking work."
The ship was badly damaged by a series of mines on its return to Portsmouth and spent the next six months being repaired in America, where Mr Ansell worked for Campbell's soup and Sears department store, among other companies.
That was the end of the war for Mr Ansell, who ran Ansell's hairdressers in Station Road, Hampton, for more than 30 years and later worked as a cleaner at Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hanworth Road, Hampton.
Sadly, his younger brother Charles was not so lucky, falling at the hands of a sniper as he crossed the Rhine in Germany just two months before the war ended.
"He shouldn't have been fighting in the trenches because he wore glasses and the sun reflected off them, giving him away," said Mr Ansell. * You can read more about Mr Ansell's wartime exploits in his memoirs From Boy to Boot Neck, due to be published by Athena Press later this year.