x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Awol British pensioner found at D-Day events in France

Nursing home alerted Sussex police after 89-year-old went missing a day before 70th anniversary ceremonies in Normandy.

LONDON // An 89-year-old British World War II veteran who went missing from his retirement home was found 12 hours later in Normandy enjoying a get-together with his former comrades.

The unnamed veteran had been told by his carers that he could not attend the events to mark the 70th anniversary of the landings in northern France.

But he defiantly pinned on his medals under his raincoat, slipped out of the care home in Hove on the south-east English coast and set off for France, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

After the alarm was raised at the home, police searched the area and checked hospitals and bus and taxi companies.

On Thursday evening, another veteran reported that the missing man had joined a coach party and made his way to Ouistreham, where the main D-Day commemoration was being held.

“We were called at 7.15pm yesterday by staff at a nursing home in Hove who said an 89-year-old who lived there had gone out at 10.30am that morning and had not been seen since,” a spokesman for the Sussex police said.

“The nursing home received a phone call from a younger veteran from Brighton at 10.30pm who said he had met the pensioner on a coach on the way to France and that they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham,” the spokesman said.

“We have spoken to the veteran who called the home today and are satisfied that the pensioner is fine and that his friends are going to ensure he gets back to Hove safely over the next couple of days after the D-Day celebrations finish.”

* Agence France-Presse