Friday, April 10, 2020

Suffolk D-Day hero dies in hospital after short illness

Tributes have been paid to a Second World War veteran from Ipswich after he died following a short illness.


Picture: SIMON PARKER


Youngest son Mark, 54, said Harold was a grandfather of 15 and a great-grandfather to 19, adding: “He was happy-go-lucky, a lot of people knew him by ‘Dick’ or ‘H’.
“Everybody loved him – everybody he met, he touched their lives in a positive way.
“We’re all so very proud of him.”
Awarded France’s highest honour – the L├ęgion d’Honneur – in 2016 for his bravery, Harold was born in Felixstowe in 1924 and joined the Army aged 18 in 1942.
He was transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment in 1943 and served in Britain in preparation for D-Day.
He set sail for France on June 3, 1944 where he landed on D-Day itself on June 6.
Harold survived many scrapes when under fire from the German Army – but came through unscathed.
He was promoted to Lance Corporal and was part of the Bren Gun Carriers – whose job it was to push on ahead and make contact with the enemy, giving fire support to the infantry.
Discharged from the Army in 1947, he enjoyed the comradeship so much he returned to the Territorial Army and served until 1953.
Passionate about athletics, Harold enjoyed long-distance running and took part in boxing for his company – winning a lot of medals.
His younger years were spent in Ramsey and Dovercourt, near Harwich, and he was the second oldest of six children – he had two brothers and three sisters.
A father of five boys – Kevin, 66, Stephen, 65, Rod, 63, Nigel, 59 and Mark, 54 – he had 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
He married Jill Dale in December 1952 – and the couple celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary last year.