D-Day hero dies at 96

 

A veteran who stormed the Normandy beaches on D-Day has died aged 96.

Henry Prescott, known as Harry, was a Royal Marine in the No47 Commando unit tasked with landing on Sword Beach on June 6, 1944 with the allies when he was just 21.

The former commando, who lived in Freshbrook, Swindon, for 25 years, eventually fought all the way to Germany.

On approaching the beach his landing craft was hit by an enemy mine and he was one of only seven in the vessel to survive the blast.

He was put back into circulation again only days later where his unit was instrumental in re-taking Port-en-Bessin – known as Operation Aubrey - and went on to help liberate parts of the Netherlands, including recapturing the Dutch island of Walcheren near to Antwerp.

In 2016 Henry travelled to France to pick up his Legion d’Honneur, recognising his role in liberating occupied France in the landings.

At the 70th commemoration of the D-Day landings Harry retraced his steps in Normandy and met the Queen and former commandos in his unit.

Born in Canada to English parents Harry only got hold of a British passport to go to the D-Day commemorations in 2014, but since then has put it to good use.

He found out around six months ago he had an inoperable stomach tumour and spent much of his time left on holiday with friends.

The funeral, which will be attended by close family and the 47 Royal Marine Commando Association, will be held on January 21 at 2pm at the North Wiltshire Crematorium.

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