D-Day Veteran Escapes From Nursing Home to Visit Normandy

Bernard Jordon, 89 left his care home in Sussex without notifying staff and was later reported missing to local police.  Staff later discovered that he was in France enjoying the annual D-day landing celebrations.  Bernard, a former Royal Navy officer explained that he hoped his adventure wouldn’t get him in too much trouble.

The day after Mr Jordon was reported missing it was confirmed that he was on an overnight ferry and was enjoying a private cabin with meals and an organised transfer back to his nursing home.  When asked if he thought he was likely to be in trouble Mr Jordon said “I might well be, but I hope not”  Mr Jordon then added “I have been here last year and I have been here obviously this time.  If I am still about then I shall try next year’s as well”.

The ship’s liaison officer Sonia Pittam, who met Mr Jordan on his way to France, said: “I knew he was a game old boy”, The Telegraph reports.

“He certainly has his wits about him, he didn’t say much about the landings, just how pleased he was to be on board and couldn’t believe how everyone was looking after them [veterans] and all the people waving on the route to the harbour entrance”.

“He kept saying, ‘All this for us’.”

Mr Jordon evoked the spirit and resilience of the comrades who fell beside him on June 6th 1944 where 4000 allies lost their lives.  He used this sense of spirit and determination to hatch his cunning plan.  Jordon has since been penned ‘the great escaper’ a nickname he is sure to be proud of.  When he arrived back in Portsmouth, Hampshire on the Brittany ferry he was met with a hero’s welcome with onlookers waving him off the vessel.  Mr Jordon later said his wife Irene, who is still in the care home in Sussex, knew about the plan in advance and was behind him all the way.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE