AT a ceremony in Salisbury Cathedral last Wednesday two Second World War veteran organisations formally ceased to exist.

The Wiltshire Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association and the Salisbury and District Branch of the Burma Star Association will both now have their standards on permanent display at the Cathedral.

The laying up of the standards comes after the decision last year by the Normandy Veterans Association to formally wind up as numbers were dwindling.

"I thought it was a very dignified service," said Richard Palusinski, Secretary of the Normandy Veterans Association. "It was moving because although both organisations agreed for this to happen watching the laying up of the standards was very emotive.

"The reality is you either stagger on until the last man is standing or make the brave decision to close down the organisation."

The group will still meet informally and the veterans who are fit enough plan to continue visiting Normandy to commemorate the D-Day landings each year.

Richard added: "The choice was to go with dignity rather than fade away."

The service in the Cathedral was led by the Very Reverend June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury Cathedral and attended by General Sir Jack Deverell, Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire and Lady Sarah Gooch, High Sheriff of Wiltshire.

The standard bearer for the Burma Star Association was Mandy Blackburn with President David Nickol MBE as escort and the Normandy Veterans Association standard bearer was Maureen Lloyd who was escorted by Brigadier David Baines MBE.

Brigadier Baines said: “We are deeply grateful to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral for allowing these two significant local organisations to lay up their Standards and place them where they will provide a lasting memory of the organisations and the campaigns that brought about their formation.”

Both standards are now hanging over the Normandy Veterans and Burma Star plaques by the north porch of the Cathedral.