Rugby says farewell to much-loved D-Day veteran - The Rugby Observer
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13th Aug, 2022

Rugby says farewell to much-loved D-Day veteran

Rugby Editorial 26th Aug, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

FAREWELLS have been said to a D-Day veteran from Rugby who has passed away at the age of 98.

Henry ‘Harry’ Townson Walker died in St Cross Hospital last week, leaving wife Connie, son Jon, daughter Marilynn and grandchildren Andy, Mark and Jo.

Harry, born in Lancashire in 1917, became a prominent figure in the town, having passionately delivered the Remembrance Day eulogy at the town centre memorial gates many times in his role as president of Rugby No.1 branch of the Royal British Legion.

He dedicated decades of his life to the local Neighbourhood Watch, and sold poppies at the clock tower for many years.

During the Second World War, Harry was a Battery Sergeant Major in the 151st Ayreshire yeomanry.

Before being deployed to Europe, he trained American soldiers in Londonderry, Ireland.

He fought from D-Day, landing on a beach in Arromanches-Les-Bains in Normandy and making his way through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany as part of ‘Operation Market Garden’ before finally being de-mobilised in Eckenforde, Northern Germany in 1946. He was in charge of a battery of eight 25lb field guns.

Harry took part in the D-Day landings and made his way through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany before finally being de-mobilised in Eckenforde, Northern Germany.

After the war he moved around the country and finally settled in Rugby, where he became involved in many areas of the community.

He married Connie in 1941, and they enjoyed 74 happy years together.

Grandson Andy described his Grandad as an amazing man.

He said: “He was a humble, incredible example of how to live a full, honest and worthwhile life.

“From the few stories he told us from the war, one which sticks out and illustrates his character best was the rum rations he used to forego and give to the younger soldiers in his regiment to bolster their courage.

“He had the courage to make a real difference to the world we live in, but would never let himself be referred to as a hero.

“He was our hero and we’ll miss him greatly.”

Rugby Army Cadets will form a guard of honour and an escort at Harry’s funeral, which will take place at St Marys Church in Clifton on Wednesday (September 2) at 2pm. Family flowers only. Charitable donations can be paid to Walton and Taylor Funeral Directors, to be split between Harry’s chosen charities.

Harry left the following message to friends and family:

“From a long life which the Good Lord has provided, a few things were learned:

“In adversity, battle on

“Keep a sense of humour

“Be loyal to those who helped you

“How precious a family is!”

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