Search

97-year-old Welling man present at D-Day has passed away

PUBLISHED: 11:17 06 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:18 07 July 2017

Frederick William Norris

Frederick William Norris

Archant

Sapper Fred Norris was awarded a military medal after saving the lives of two comrades

A Welling man who was present at D-Day and later received a Legion d’Honneur has passed away.

Sapper Fred Norris MM, was part of the Royal Engineers and died on June 22, just 10 days before his 98th birthday.

His family said in a tribute: “He was strong, kind, generous, a true gentleman and a family man. He was much loved and respected a touched all those who met him. He’ll be sadly missed but leaves a great legacy.”

Mr Norris was drafted aged 24, and sailed out to Gosport on the morning of June 6 1944, aboard the first vessel out of the harbour, a Landing Craft.

Afterwards he was awarded a military medal for his actions, after helping his fellow men in their time of need.

He saved two men - after advancing from the beach into Lion-sur-Mer and on to Boulevard - Sapper Morris, who had been hit from the blast of a German grenade, and the Sergeant of 41 Commando who he encountered lying in the road crying out for water.

Those who had won a military medal were immediately promoted to the rank of sergeant, but Mr Norris declined this as he wanted to remain a sapper.

He reportedly told the general “Sir I turned them down because I wanted to stay with my mates” when asked where his ‘stripes’ were.

In February 2016, he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by a French ambassador at a ceremony held at the Chatham Museum.

Mr Norris’ grandaughter, Laura Dent, said: “The whole family were present at the ceremony, as well as different members of the Royal Engineers, of all difference rankings - from officers to sappers.

“We were all incredibly proud and as usual Fred was incredibly modest, he just kept saying he did what he ahad to do. He also greeted the French ambassador with ‘viva la France’.”

He will have a military service funeral on July 24, at St Andrews Church, Brampton Road.

Latest Bexley news

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

People who live, work and travel across Kent, Thurrock, Essex and beyond are being invited to shape plans for Britain’s biggest road tunnel as Highways England hostrf the first of 60 public engagement events on the multi-billion pound Lower Thames Crossing project this week (Tuesday 16 October).

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

“Devastating” plans for a house of multiple occupancy in Sidcup have been approved despite pleas by residents.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The pub industry in Bexley, worth around £51million, could take a hit if beer duty is raised as expected in the chancellor’s budget today (Tuesday, October 16), Britain’s Beer Alliance has warned.

Monday, October 15, 2018

A cyclist who died after being hit by a lorry in Erith has been formally identified, as police officers appeal for witnesses to the tragic incident to come forward.

Monday, October 15, 2018

New proposals for Hall Place and Gardens will be discussed in next week’s Places Overview and Scrutiny Committee (October 16).

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The new UK and Ireland tour of Let It Be will be arriving at the Orchard Theatre on Monday, October 15.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A number of warrants have been executed this morning (Wednesday, October 10) in Abbey Wood as part of a proactive operation targeting drugs and associated criminality.

Most read news

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Bexley Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24