30 children visited 10 Downing Street and HMS Belfast for the ultimate D-Day history lesson, transported on a Second World War-era red London bus.

Schoolchildren were given the ultimate history lesson for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, with a behind-the-scenes tour of 10 Downing Street and Second World War Royal Navy ship HMS Belfast.

Akshata Murty welcomed 30 schoolchildren to Number 10 as the Ministry of Defence announced a range of initiatives to inspire a new generation with the story and legacy of D-Day.

The children from Hayfield Cross School near Kettering met two D-Day veterans – George Chandler and Bernard Morgan – during the visit to 10 Downing Street, where they received a tour and a lesson on the role of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in planning the Normandy Landings.

Following the visit, Akshata Murty said: “It was a privilege to welcome George and Bernard to Downing Street today. They along with all our brave veterans are truly inspirational. It was wonderful that the pupils from Hayfield Cross Primary School were given the unique opportunity to hear their incredible stories first-hand.”

The team from the Imperial War Museum also provided the kids with a powerful lesson in the Cabinet Room that helped to highlight the unparalleled sacrifice that so many made 80 years ago. They then boarded a Second World War-era red double-decker bus adorned with the D-Day 80 logo and travelled to HMS Belfast – the only British ship remaining from the bombardment fleet of D-Day.

Onboard, they met Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, learned more about HMS Belfast’s role in D-Day, participated in a hands-on Morse code lesson and had the special privilege of asking the two D-Day veterans questions about their experiences 80 years ago.

As part of a range of new education initiatives, the Ministry of Defence and its partners are working to ensure the inspiring message of D-Day is passed down to a new generation. On 3 June, D-Day veterans will gather in Portsmouth to meet local schoolchildren and modern-day Royal Marines personnel to pass on their wisdom to a new generation.

At the national commemorative event in Portsmouth on 5 June, a total of 900 schoolchildren and cadets will hear directly from the veterans of D-Day. They will hear powerful testimonies from D-Day veterans and military personnel, as well as musical performances by a military orchestra.