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March veteran of the D-day landings Herbert Flavell has died - it's the 75th anniversary of the historic invasion this summer

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A former sailor who was awarded a top French honour for his part in the historic D-day landings has died at the age of 95.

Herbert Flavell with his French Medal. (8128402)
Herbert Flavell with his French Medal. (8128402)

Herbert Flavell of March, who died in hospital on Monday (25), was carefully watching for German opposition on board HMS Holmes as it brought troops to the Normandy beaches 75 years ago this summer, on June 6, 1944.

He was presented with the Chevalier in the Ordre National de la Legion d’honneur in March 2016 by the French Government, who issued the medal as thanks to the men and women who battled to liberate Europe from the Nazis during the Second World War.

At the time Mr Flavell said: “I feel honoured and proud to receive the medal. I shall wear it with pride on Remembrance Day.”

Mr Flavell volunteered to join the navy in November 1941.

Herbert Flavell in his service days. (8128405)
Herbert Flavell in his service days. (8128405)

He was a leading radar operator and initially served on board the merchant ship, the Queen of Bermuda.

Mr Flavell then went onto join HMS Uganda, which was hit by a 2,000lb rocket and had to be towed to Malta in 1943.

Mr Flavell later joined HMS Holmes, which took part in the largest European invasion fleet as part of Operation Overlord.

Talking about it three years ago he said: “We were very lucky on D-Day. It was not as bad as we thought it was going to be as we had air superiority.

“I was in the radar room checking on the position of the ship and for any German motor torpedoes.”

After D-Day, Mr Flavell spent the rest of the war on Atlantic Crossings before being demobbed in 1946.

After the war, Mr Flavell went on to work in the brewing industry before getting a job with Drambuie.

Mr Flavell was married to Constance, who died in 1989. He has no other family.

His funeral will be held St Peter's Church in March on Thursday April 11.

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