Posts Tagged ‘Jordan’

D-Day ‘Great Escaper’ Bernard Jordan makes his final journey as he’s laid to rest with his wife

January 30th, 2015

Around 150 mourners gathered as Mr Jordan’s coffin, draped in the Union flag and topped with his medals and a wreath of poppies, arrived at church in front of his wife’s.

Assistant curate Father Mark Lyon, who led the service, said: “It’s a great privilege to give thanks for the lives of Bernie and Rene.

“Although Bernie made the headlines, it’s a testament to the depth of her that Rene would not allow him to make this final journey alone.

“In this we can take comfort, knowing that they make their journey into eternity together, hand in hand.”

Bernard Jordan and his wife Irene on their wedding day

Mr and Mrs Jordan, who did not have children, had been married for 59 years and celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 2005.

As a former mayor of Hove, the service was told Mr Jordan had been a long-serving community stalwart before his trip to last year’s D-Day commemorations.

Paying tribute, Mr Fitch said Mr Jordan “had a flare for being outrageous” and that Brighton and Hove had “lost two of its dearest souls”.

He said: “Bernie, in what were to be the last few months of his life, became a national and international figure due to his trip to France and his desire to participate in the Normandy Landings commemorations.

“What really captured the public’s imagination was not his own scheduled flit from the Pines (care home) but the character of the man – a person determined to honour and value his comrades despite his increasing age and less than perfect health.”

Mr Fitch also paid tribute to Mrs Jordan as “demure and quiet”, adding that “she was the perfect foil for her gregarious and big-hearted husband”.

Dennis Smith, the husband of one of the couple’s nieces, told the service that the Jordans were “different characters” who complemented each other.

Mr Smith said Mrs Jordan took a great interest in the Royal Family, particularly the younger generation.

And she acted as an “assertive” figure, often keeping her husband grounded during his “flights of fancy”.

He added that her death, just days after her husband, came as she “saw little prospect of a life without him”.

After the Last Post sounded, Royal British Legion standard bearers lowered their flags before mourners filed out of the church ahead of a private committal.

Mr Jordan’s disappearance to Normandy last June 5 sparked a police search that led to him being catapulted to international attention.

His whereabouts emerged only when a younger veteran phoned later that night to say he had met Mr Jordan and he was safe.

Royal Navy veteran Mr Jordan told reporters on his return that his aim was to remember his fallen “mates”.

Bernard Jordan

He had decided to join British veterans, most making their final pilgrimage to revisit the scene of their momentous invasion, to remember the heroes of the liberation of Europe.

Some 156,000 Allied troops landed on the five invasion beaches on June 6 1944, sparking an 80-day campaign to liberate Normandy involving three million troops and costing 250,000 lives.

Mr Jordan had hoped to return to Normandy this June. Brittany Ferries, which carried him across the Channel last summer, offered him free crossings to D-Day events for the rest of his life.

Following his death, the Royal British Legion said Mr Jordan’s decision to go to France highlighted “the spirit that epitomises the Second World War generation”.

On his 90th birthday, days after he returned from his escapade, he was inundated with more than 2,500 birthday cards from around the world.

Mr Jordan was later made an honorary alderman of Brighton and Hove in a special ceremony at Brighton Town Hall.

He joined an elite list to receive the honour, including Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi, former Olympic champion Steve Ovett, and First World War hero Henry Allingham, who became the world’s oldest man before his death aged 113 in 2009.


World War Two

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

D-Day veteran Bernard Jordan dies after lifetime of duty and adventure

January 7th, 2015

Such was the respect in which he was held following his headline-generating adventures across the Channel that on his 90th birthday, a few days after his return, he received more than 2,500 cards from well-wishers around the world.

Mr Jordan died peacefully in hospital. In a statement by Gracewell Healthcare, which runs The Pines care home in Hove, East Sussex, where Mr Jordan lived, said he would be “much missed” by his wife Irene and many friends.

Amanda Scott, managing director of Gracewell Healthcare, said: “Bernie caught the world’s imagination last year when he made his ‘surprise’ trip to France and bought a huge amount of joy to a lot of people.


Bernard Jordan on the ferry with The Candy Girls

“Bernie was always insistent that what he did during the war was nothing unusual, and only what many thousands of others did for their country.

“That may well be true, but the little bit of excitement he gave everyone last June was typical of his no-nonsense attitude to life and is how he will be remembered by thousands of people.”

A month after his escapade in France, Mr Jordan was made an honorary alderman of Brighton and Hove during a reception at Brighton Town Hall.

Asked at the reception why he travelled to Normandy, Mr Jordan, former mayor of Hove who served as a councillor for 34 years, said: “My thoughts were with my mates who had been killed.

“I was going across to pay my respects. I was a bit off course but I got there.”

He added: “Britain is a smashing country and the people are smashing, and if you have to do something a bit special, then they are worth every effort.”

Bernard with his medals (GRACEWELL HEALTHCARE)

Mr Jordan did indeed do something special for his country, as his campaign medals testified.

As a 19-year-old junior officer in the Royal Navy he had been plunged into the thick of it on June 6, 1944.

His ship was one of a flotilla of 6,939 vessels assembled by commanders as part of the Allied plan to create a bridgehead to get thousands of troops and equipment into northern France, as the first step of pushing the Nazis all the way back to Berlin.

Men like Mr Jordan played a key role in that plan, providing covering fire for the thousands of troops and tanks wading ashore in the face a hail of machine gun and shell fire from the Germans dug into concrete bunkers on the cliffs above.

Mr Jordan had already taken part in the Battle of the Atlantic, which saw British ships engaged in a cat and mouse game with German U-boats in the struggle to keep vital supply routes from the United States.


Bernard Jordan surrounded by cards and gifts received for his 90th birthday (PA)

On one occasion Mr Jordan was part of a boarding party which captured one of the Enigma coding machines used by the Germans after his forced a U-boat submarine to the surface.

Mr Jordan also served in the Italian campaign, which saw British naval ships transporting and supplying the troops fighting their way up the spine of the Peninsula, as part of the Allied effort to drive the Nazis out of occupied Europe.

Brian Fitch, the mayor of Brighton and Hove, said: “He made a major contribution, but he was also just an ordinary hard-working bloke, an electrician by trade, and a lovely character. We will really miss him.”


World War Two

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

Archives

Categories