A veteran who was found at the D-Day commemorations after disappearing from his care home has said he is “really pleased” he made the trip.
Bernard Jordan, 89, turned up on the beaches of Normandy after being reported missing from The Pines care home in Hove, Sussex.
Arriving in Portsmouth on the Brittany Ferries ship Normandie on Saturday, the former Royal Navy officer said: “I had a great time. I'm really pleased I did it.
"It was good, it gets even better as it goes on."
But he said that he would have to face the music when he returned to the home.
He said: ”Yeah, I'm going to have to face that but it's just one of those things.“
Mr Jordan said that his wife knew about his trip and when asked if he would go back next year, he said: "Yes, I expect so, if I am still here definitely."
Steve Tuckwell, director of communications for Brittany Ferries, said that Mr Jordan enjoyed a hearty breakfast during the seven-hour crossing.
He said: "He's a tremendous fellow, we loved having him on board."
Mr Tuckwell said that Mr Jordan had been adopted as the company's honorary veteran and he would be given free crossings to the D-Day commemorations for the rest of his life. He said that Mr Jordan was found by a member of the crew as he travelled across to France on Thursday.
He said: "He was picked up by one of our staff, the ship's liaison officer, she found him wandering around, she took him under her wing, took him up to the bridge and treated him royally and he won the hearts of the crew.
“We adopted him as an honorary veteran and we will give him free travel to the Normandy beaches for the rest of his life.
"We owe him a huge debt and it was our way of paying him back, he's a marvellous guy."
He added: "We took him under our wing, he's a lovely, lovely guy, when he came off the crew all clapped him."
He said that Mr Jordan met a group of singers called the Candy Girls during the crossing to France and added: "He's got a lot of charm with the ladies but I understand he has a wife."
Mr Jordan, a former mayor of Hove, left The Pines at around 10.30am on Thursday morning clad in a grey rain coat with a jacket bearing his war medals underneath
Sussex police received a call from the nursing home at around 7.15pm that evening to say that Mr Jordan had not been seen since.
Following a fruitless search, the care home received a call from a younger veteran at about 10.30pm to say that he had met the missing pensioner on a coach on the way to France and that they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham, France.
Susan Knowles, Mr Jordan's niece, told Sky News that her uncle had a history of visiting events he wasn't expected at.
She said: "Last time I saw him would be at a family funeral that he made his way down to again, and we were all quite amazed that he'd made his way to Bournemouth to this family funeral, on the train, on his own.
“He sort of just came walking up and we were quite surprised to see him there, because of his age and that, we didn't expect him to be there.
“If he's determined to do something he will.”
In pictures: D-Day 70th anniversary
In pictures: D-Day 70th anniversary
1/41 D-Day anniversary
British World War II veteran Frederick Glover stands as soldiers parachute down during a D-Day commemoration paratroopers launch event in Ranville, northern France
2/41 D-Day anniversary
D-Day veterans (L-R) Wally Beale (90), Doug Lakey (94), Bernie Howell (89), Bob Conway (88), George French (88), Gordon Smith (90), and Albert Williams (96), from the Royal Wootton Bassett Normandy Veterans Association share a joke during a group photograph on sword Beach after the Royal Artillery Commemoration Parade and service in Hermanville, France
3/41 D-Day anniversary
French Prime minister Manuel Valls (L), British Prime Minister David Cameron (C) and his wife Samantha Cameron (R) at the D-Day commemoration ceremony at the Cathedral in Bayeux, Normandy
4/41 D-Day anniversary
Prince Charles reacts as he watches teams of French, US, Canadian and British paratroopers jumping from aeroplanes during a D-Day commemoration in Ranville, northern France
5/41 D-Day anniversary
D-Day veteran Bill Price (99) who celebrates his 100th birthday on 24 July stands on Gold Beach for well wishers after the last ever flag raising ceremony by the Surrey Normandy Veterans Association in Arromanches Les Bains, France
6/41 D-Day anniversary
Veteran Frederick Carrier (89) who served in the 1st Engineer Special Brigade of the U.S. Army and landed at Utah Beach on D-Day, prays for the 171 men of his unit who died at a monument to them at Utah Beach, France
7/41 D-Day anniversary
D-Day veteran Jack Hamlin (93) who served in Rescue Flotilla Number One of the U.S. Coast Guard, took part in the invasion landing at Omaha Beach and is from Springfield, Missouri, attends the U.S. D-Day Ceremony at Utah Beach, France
8/41 D-Day anniversary
A D-Day re-enactment enthusiast wears the American flag at a re-enactment camp near Utah Beach in Sainte Marie du Mont, France
9/41 D-Day anniversary
British World War II veteran Jock Hutton (89), poses following his landing after he and teams of French, US, Canadian and British paratroopers jumped from aeroplanes during a D-Day commemoration in Ranville, northern France
10/41 D-Day anniversary
The Red Arrows display team perform over Southsea Common at the end of a commemoration service of the D-Day landings in Portsmouth, England
11/41 D-Day anniversary
Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (3L) are welcomed by French President Francois Hollande (2L) and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Laurent Fabius (R) at the Elysee Presidential Palace as part of a bilateral meeting during an Official visit in Paris ahead of the 70th Anniversary Of The D-Day in Paris, France
12/41 D-Day anniversary
The RAF's Red Arrows perform over Southsea Common in Hampshire, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings
13/41 D-Day anniversary
A French man dressed in vintage military clothing drives an old American military jeep on the beachside in Arromanches-les-Bains, northern France
14/41 D-Day anniversary
Czech citizens Gallomichal Seznam and Zdznek Barchaler, dressed in old vintage military uniforms, walk on the beach in Arromanches-les-Bains, northern France
15/41 D-Day anniversary
British Marines and their Dutch counterparts demonstrate a beach assault near Southsea Common in Hampshire to mark the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings
16/41 D-Day anniversary
WW2 veteran Fred Holborn, from the Fleet Air Arm, salutes as he looks at British Legion Union flags carrying thank you messages planted in the sand on Gold beach near Asnelles, France. 20,000 paper flags are being planted. Each one carries a personal message of Remembrance submitted by Royal British Legion supporters
17/41 D-Day anniversary
A paratrooper lands on Sword Beach near international flags during a D-Day celebration rehearsal in Ouistreham, on the Normandy coast
18/41 D-Day anniversary
Helen Patton, granddaughter of General Patton, is parachuted during a US-German D-Day commemoration ceremony in honour of airborne soldiers in Picauville, northern France
19/41 D-Day anniversary
French 1st RCP paratrooper carrying US flag is seen over Sword beach in Ouistreham, northern France
20/41 D-Day anniversary
A Spitfire (R) and an "Eurfighter" both painted with invasion stripes fly over Sword beach in Ouistreham, northern France
21/41 D-Day anniversary
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Gare du Nord during an Official visit in Paris ahead of the 70th Anniversary Of The D-Day in Paris, France
22/41 D-Day anniversary
The Prince of Wales meets veterans near Pegasus Bridge during D-Day Commemorations in Ranville, France
23/41 D-Day anniversary
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall meets veterans near Pegasus Bridge (Also known as the Benouville Bridge - The taking of the Bridge was an important strategic victory) during D-Day Commemorations in Ranville, France
24/41 D-Day anniversary
A US WWII veteran stands in front of US flags during a US-German D-Day commemoration ceremony in honour of airborne soldiers in Picauville, northern France
25/41 D-Day anniversary
US veteran Edward Oleksak looks on during a US-German D-Day commemoration ceremony in honour of airborne soldiers in Picauville, northern France
26/41 D-Day anniversary
World War II Allied members Canada's, United States', France's, and United Kingdom's flag hanging in Ouistreham, western France
27/41 D-Day anniversary
British and Canadian flags laid at a military cemetery in Ranville, northwestern France
28/41 D-Day anniversary
A British soldier pays his respects as he visits a military cemetery in Ranville, northwestern France
29/41 D-Day anniversary
A visitor examines a gravestone at the German Cemetery where approximately 21,000 German World War II soldiers are buried at La Cambe, France
30/41 D-Day anniversary
Normany veteran 90-year-old Geoff Pattinson sits at his home in London, England. On D-Day he set out in one of three gliders that were meant to crash land at the Merville battery and the troops were tasked with taking out the long range guns. However during the flight to France the tow rope snapped and the glider was forced to land in England. He flew again later that day and was a few weeks later was wounded in Normandy by a German machine gun. Asked what his most vivid memory of D-Day was he replied: 'Most of us thought we had landed in France. When we got out though, low and behold we were still in England and that was the anti-climax of my life. I couldn't believe we had missed our target and I couldn't believe we had landed in England'
31/41 D-Day anniversary
Normandy veteran 92-year-old Vera Hay stands outside the Grange Hotel in Grange over Sands in Cumbria, England. Vera, who was in the Queen Alexandras Royal Army Nursing Corps one of the first nurses to land at Normandy shortly after D-Day. Vera, who was a Junior Sister, then travelled 10 miles to the Chateau de Beaussy and took care of up to 200 injured soldiers a day. Asked what her most vivid memory of D-Day was she replied: 'The need of the casualties both our own troops and the German prisoners of war. They all were patients to us. They needed rehydration, rest, morphine to keep the comfortable and we were using the new penicillin'
32/41 D-Day anniversary
British World War II veteran Harry Humphreys (92) from the 4th Royal Dragoon Guard, reacts after his visit at Bayeux's war cemetery, while an old allied military vehicle passes by, in northern France
33/41 D-Day anniversary
Lewis Trinder formerly of the Royal Navy poses for photographs as he walks through Arromanches in Normandy, France
34/41 D-Day anniversary
Soldiers travelling on a vintage jeep cross Pegasus Bridge (also known as the Benouville Bridge) during D-Day Commemoration in Ranville, France
35/41 D-Day anniversary
Pipers march past Cafe Gondree, the Pegasus Bridge Cafe, the first house in France to be liberated during the last hour of 5 June 1944, during D-Day Commemorations in Ranville, France
36/41 D-Day anniversary
British soldiers stand next to their weapons placed on the ground, in front of Bayeux's war cemetery, northern France
37/41 D-Day anniversary
Italian and British military enthusiasts watch from Utah beach as Dakota aircraft flypast near Saint Marie du Mont, France
38/41 D-Day anniversary
World War II veteran Charles Alford of the 6th Armor Division, from Waco, Texas, climbs the stairs with his son David on Omaha Beach where he landed as part of the invasion of Normandy in Vierville-Sur-Mer, France
39/41 D-Day anniversary
British World War II veteran reacts as he visits the war cemetery of Ranville, northwestern France
40/41 D-Day anniversary
Paul Clifford (70) from Boston stands after placing flowers on the grave of Walter J. Gunther Jr, the uncle of his best friend, in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, in Colleville sur Mer, France
41/41 D-Day anniversary
Harry Grew (92) who was in the Royal Navy, gets fussed by the Candy Girls, (R) Elkie Jeffery (L) Freyja Sculpher and Debbie Watt on board the Brittany cross channel ferry Normandie, travelliing from Portsmouth to Caen in Portsmouth, England
Although it was reported that staff had told the veteran he could not attend the 70th anniversary of the landings that changed the course of the Second World War, a spokesman for the home said it was “definitely not the case” that the veteran was banned from attending the D-Day commemorations.
In a statement, Peter Curtis, chief executive of Gracewell Healthcare, which runs The Pines, said: “Mr Jordan has full capacity, which means that he can come and go from the home as he pleases, which he does on most days. At no stage was he banned from going to the commemorations.
“In fact, staff at the home tried to get Mr Jordan on to an accredited tour with the Royal British Legion but, due to the last-minute nature of the request, this was not possible.
"Mr Jordan was reported missing to the police yesterday evening as a matter of caution because he did not return from his normal trip to town and when he left had not told us he was still intent on trying to get to Normandy.
“At Gracewell Healthcare we celebrate the individuality of our residents' lives and are in awe of the part Mr Jordan played in the D-Day invasion 70 years ago.”
Mr Jordan was among more than 650 ex-servicemen believed to have travelled to commemorate the invasion, described as the largest in military history.
This year’s D-Day commemorations were particularly poignant as it will likely be the final time the remaining veterans, who are now in their 80s and 90s, gather together to recall the day that “changed the world”.
Additional reporting by Press AssociationReuse content