Two precious flags that saw action on D-Day will be displayed on special occasions at a sea cadets unit after they were rediscovered ahead of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

When Rickmansworth and Watford Sea Cadets were preparing for last week’s commemorations at their TS Renown base, a secure room was cleared and in a corner they came across a long package wrapped in brown paper.

Unwrapping it carefully, they found two flags - a Royal Navy white ensign and a Stars and Stripes, both mounted on simple wooden staves.

Written on the staves are the words: “This White Ensign was flown by HM Landing Craft June 6th 1944 – R.G. Lindeman, Lt (E) RNVR”; and “US Naval Ensign (Old Glory) 1944 -R.G. Lindeman, Lt (E) RNVR”.

The flag stavesThe flag staves (Image: Fabian Hiscock)

Three Rivers Museum Trust chairman Fabian Hiscock, who is a former chairman of the unit, said: “They’re clearly ‘real’ – the US flag has 48 stars, arranged in the manner required between 1912 and 1959, and there’s no reason to suppose that Lieutenant Lindeman, an engineer officer of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, made up his annotation. So as a memento of D-Day, they’re especially poignant, and will have seen much action on that day.

“The unit will now research who Lt Lindeman was, and in which ship he was serving on D-Day. They will also try to find out how, and when, they came to the unit, to be hidden in the room in which they were found – no-one now on the staff has any knowledge of them at all!

“But these two precious ensigns will be kept carefully, and shown on special occasions.”

The Quarterdeck at TS RenownThe Quarterdeck at TS Renown (Image: Fabian Hiscock)

The cadets were joined in their commemoration on Thursday by Watford FC legend Luther Blissett, President of Watford Royal British Legion, and Rev Tony Rindl, the retiring vicar of St Mary’s, Watford, who has been chaplain to the unit for more than ten years.

His has been an important contribution, and the unit wishes him further success and happiness as he moves to Birmingham.