D-Day 70th anniversary: Veteran, 89, found in Normandy after he was reported missing from care home

The pensioner left the nursing home on Thursday morning wearing a jacket bearing his war medals

Antonia Molloy
Saturday 07 June 2014 08:48
People visit Second World War landing crafts on the Arromanches beach, Normandy, on 6 June, 2014
People visit Second World War landing crafts on the Arromanches beach, Normandy, on 6 June, 2014

An 89-year-old D-Day veteran who was reported missing from his care home has been found - amid the 70th anniversary commemorations on the sands of Normandy.

Sussex police received a call from a nursing home in Hove at around 7.15pm on Thursday to say that the pensioner had gone out at 10.30am that morning but had not been seen since.

The man, who is yet to be named, had gone out wearing a grey rain coat with a jacket bearing his war medals underneath.

Following a fruitless search on Thursday, the nursing 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.

Officers said they have spoken to the veteran, who is fine, and that his friends are going to ensure he gets back to Hove safely over the next couple of days.

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, both the care home and Sussex Police denied this.

The home was confirmed by a spokesman as The Pines care home, Furze Hill, in Hove.

He said it is "definitely not the case" that the veteran was banned from attending D-Day commemorations.

A Sussex Police spokesman also denied reports that the home prevented the veteran attending the event.

The home is expected to release a statement.

The Queen, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, François Hollande and many other leaders are also in attendance to pay tribute to the 200,000 British, American and Canadian men – and the handful of women – who took part.

This year’s commemorations are 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 Association

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