When an 89-year-old is told by his care home that he would not be able to go on a trip to France, you might expect him to just accept it and settle down in his armchair for an afternoon snooze. But Bernard Jordan is made of sterner stuff. In fact, one might have thought that the over-officious staff at his home in Sussex might have recognised this, as he had already demonstrated such qualities seventy years earlier, on 6th June 1944.
Which is why Bernard hatched an escape plan that may not have been as complex as some of those in the annals of Colditz or Stalag Luft III, but was nevertheless just as daring. He simply pinned his medals under his coat and told the staff that he was going out for an early morning stroll. Then, having enlisted a lift to the station from a friend, he made his way to Portsmouth to board a ferry for Normandy, where another veteran bound for the D-Day 70th Anniversary celebrations took Bernard under his wing. Continue Reading
Alec sat on his favourite ramshackle bench in the Park, as he did every Sunday on his way home from Morning Service. The park was empty of people other than himself, which was not unusual, because although this was a small park in the midst of a large housing estate, very few of the residents used it. So it had become a small oasis amongst a desert of hubbub, somewhat unkempt and wild in parts, with the grass more meadow than lawn.
The sun was shining on this beautiful June day, and Alec closed his eyes to feel the warm rays slowly cooking his bald pate. His children often chastised him for not wearing a hat in this weather, and were always quoting him the latest medical research on skin ailments, which he dismissed with the simple words that if God had wanted him to worry about melanoma’s and the like, He would have had Alec’s school teach him about them when he was young enough to absorb the knowledge. Now, at the age of 82, he had surpassed his allotted three-score-years-and ten, and was merely grateful for every additional day he was allowed by his Master. Continue Reading