Interview: Harrogate D-Day hero on 75 years ago

Today, Thursday, June 6, a frail but remarkable Harrogate 95-year-old is back on the beaches of Normandy where he risked his life during the liberation of Europe 75 years ago.

John Rushton, believed to be the last surviving D-Day veteran in Harrogate, is paying tribute to fallen comrades as part of a dwindling band of brothers who took part in the pivotal moment in the Second World War. As a Royal Marine in the Royal Marine Armoured Support Regiment, aged just 20 at the time, Mr Rushton landed on Sword Beach in early morning light under German fire in the biggest seaborne invasion in history.

Harrogate D-Day veteran John Rushton  with his Legion D'Honneur medal  pictured at home in Harrogate last week. (Pivture by Picture Gerard Binks)

Harrogate D-Day veteran John Rushton with his Legion D'Honneur medal pictured at home in Harrogate last week. (Pivture by Picture Gerard Binks)


Talking to the Harrogate Advertiser before he set sail for France, the former sergeant in the amphibious support regiment said he did not consider himself a hero, despite surviving an attack by German fighter-bombers as he scrambled across Sword Beach during Operation Overlord.

For the full interview, get this week's print edition of the Harrogate Advertiser in the shops now.

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