THE sister of a soldier killed in the Normandy landings has transcribed the harrowing diary he wrote.

Norman Bottoms’s mum begged him not to join the Army, and follow in the footsteps of his father Harry.

Harry had been wounded during the First World War and despite returning home to Artillery Street, Colchester, he never recovered and died aged 34.

Sportsman Norman, 19, joined up with two friends in Colchester in May 1939 and spent the next five years as a signaller in the 147 Essex Yeomanry Regiment, working on communication lines along the UK coastline.

His first posting abroad was on June 6, 1944 – D-Day.

Read the full story in today's Gazette.