Widow of British WWII D-Day events 'escaper' dies week after husband

8th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

The wife of a British World War II veteran who secretly left a care home to join the D-Day commemorations in France has died just one week after he passed away, it was announced Thursday.

Irene Jordan, 88, died on Tuesday, only seven days after her 90-year-old husband Bernard passed away.

Bernard Jordan's "Great Escape" was hailed around the world as the embodiment of his generation's war-time spirit.

The former Royal Navy officer left their care home in June last year wearing his medals under his raincoat and joined a coach party heading for events marking the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

He was missing for around 12 hours before a younger veteran contacted the home to say he was fine and was in northern France with former comrades.

"I had a great time, I'm really pleased I did it," he told reporters on his return home.

The couple lived together at The Pines care home in Hove on the southern English coast.

"They were a very close couple who will both be sadly missed," said Brighton and Hove Mayor Brian Fitch.

"Irene went into the care home first after Bernie had looked after her at home, so it came as a bit of a shock that he died first.

"They had been married for more than 50 years and were a devoted couple. After he had gone, she probably gave up the will.

"They were religious people who are now reunited together."

A ceremony celebrating the Jordans' lives will be held at a church in Hove on January 30, while a minute's silence will be held in the Brighton and Hove City Council chamber.


© 2015 AFP

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