D-Day: Runaway veteran returns to UK nursing home

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D-Day: Runaway veteran returns to UK nursing home

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It is being called ‘The Great Escape’ – the stirring story of a British World War Two veteran who gave his nursing home carers the slip to head to France for D-Day commemorations.

Now back on home soil, 89-year-old former Royal Navy officer Bernard Jordan is hoping he won’t get into trouble for boarding an overnight ferry and making his way to Normandy.

“He was picked up by one of our staff, a ships liaison officer who happened to be on the ferry going over on Thursday and she found him wandering round and she took him under her wing and took him up to the bridge and they treated him royally,” said Stephen Tuckwell, Brittany Ferries Communications Director.

“He won the hearts of our crew – especially when they heard his story.”

Leaving his wife behind at the nursing home in Hove, in south east England, Bernard joined other veterans for what he has called a ‘marvellous’ adventure. But he was clearly happy and proud, when asked what it was like to be back in Britain.

“Marvellous, absolutely marvellous,” he told reporters.

“This is a smashing country and I am proud to have served it.”

And Bernard need not have worried about his reception back at base where a hero’s welcome was waiting, with nursing home staff waving union jack flags and embracing him warmly.