GUMPTION: 89-year-old D-Day veteran escapes rest home to attend D-Day memorial in France
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Eighty-nine-year-old Bernard Jordan was informed by his care facility, the Pines in Hove, Great Britain, that he would not be able to attend D-Day memorials held in France. The former mayor of his Hove was having none of it. Jordan up and sneaked out of his facility and made it all the way to France for the ceremonies. He's vows to do it again.
"The former Royal Navy officer told reporters that he hoped he would not be in trouble when he returned. Speaking in Normandy, he told the broadcaster: "Because I wanted to go to this show here that was on today that was the main reason I came over here."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Donning his war medals he received while in the Royal Navy under a raincoat, he joined his comrades. A younger veteran called Jordan's facility to assure them he was there safe and sound - but there was the expected hue and cry.
By the time staff realized Jordan was missing the Royal Navy veteran was already in Normandy. Jordan stood proudly among world leaders and old soldiers in marking the audacious assault 70 years ago that cost more than 4,000 Allied lives.
D-Day veteran Bernard Jordan, 89, returned to Britain on a ferry after sneaking onto a coach to Normandy, declaring: "I expect I will be in some trouble with the care home, but it was worth it."
Jordan had left Hove in East Sussex last week and checked in to a hotel in Ouistreham, near Arromanches, that night.
Police began searching the area around his home and checked with hospitals, bus firms and taxi companies.
Bernard Jordan waves on deck with Captain Olivier Macoin (left) and ship duty manager Jim Crilley
The phone call placed by the younger veteran assured officials that Jordan would be coming home when he was ready. Police found the story highly amusing and Brighton commander Nev Kemp tweeted: "Love this: 89-yr-old veteran reported missing by care home who said he can't go to Normandy for DDay70 remembrance. We've found him there!"
The former Royal Navy officer told reporters that he hoped he would not be in trouble when he returned. Speaking in Normandy, he told the broadcaster: "Because I wanted to go to this show here that was on today that was the main reason I came over here.
"It's a first class show because I have been here last year and I have been here obviously this time and I'm going to - touch wood I'm still with us - and I will be 91 then, but if I am still about I shall try next year's as well.'
"I just wanted to go over and join in with the commemorations,' he said. 'Being a veteran myself this was important to me and it meant the world. I met some great characters from old veterans to dancing girls."
In response, the care home was at pains to stress that Jordan had not been banned from attending the commemorations.
A spokesman for the Pines said their "wilful and determined" resident had been spurred in to action after staff had failed to get him on to the accredited trip with the Royal British Legion.
Staff on board the ferry said Mr Jordan had been a hit with the ladies - and it emerged his wife Irene, who lives in the same care home, knew all about his mini adventure before he set off.
The spokesman said he had moved to the home in January when his wife Irene was admitted and was able to come and go as he pleased. "Bernard is quite a character and certainly knows his own mind. We fully celebrate his participation in the D-Day commemorations."
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