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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 20 December, 2014

Veteran who absconded from care home for D-Day memorials returns to hero’s welcome

Bernard Jordan was determined not to miss the events in France.

Bernard Jordan on his return to the UK.
Bernard Jordan on his return to the UK.
Image: Chris Ison

EIGHTY-NINE YEAR old World War II veteran Bernard Jordan served in Royal Navy during Operation Overlord in 1944.

So he was damned if he was going to miss the D-Day commemorations in Normandy yesterday.

After failing to get a seat on an official coach trip to the events in France, he decided to make his own way there, walking out of The Pines care home in Hove in the south east of England on Thursday afternoon.

From there he made his way to Portsmouth, joined up with another coach trip, and secured passage on an overnight ferry.

Staff at The Pines raised the alarm and contacted local police when they discovered he was missing, and it wasn’t until they received a phone call from another veteran travelling with Mr Jordan that they realised where he was.

He’s now returned to the UK and received a hero’s welcome from staff and other residents at The Pines, reports The Telegraph.

He was also a guest of honour on the return crossing of the Normandie ferry, meeting the skipper Captain Olivier Macoin on deck. Brittany Ferries has said that Mr Jordan will enjoy free travel to the D-Day commemorations for the rest of his life.

70th anniversary of D-Day campaign

Source: Chris Ison

70th anniversary of D-Day campaign

Source: Chris Ison

The Daily Mail reports that Mr Jordan had expected to “face the music” when he returned to the care home, but according to the Telegraph staff had draped the walls with Union Flags and sang “for he’s a jolly good fellow” when he arrived back safe and sound.

Read: “This was democracy’s beachhead” – world remembers D-Day>

Son comes good on lovely promise he made his dad when he was eight>

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