Great Escaper’s medals up for sale

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Medals belonging to late war veteran Bernard Jordan, who made headline news when he left his care home to attend last year’s 70th anniversary D-Day events, will be auctioned for charity today.

The 1939-45 Star; an Atlantic star with a France and Germany clasp; an Italy Star; and a Second World War Defence and War medal could fetch up to £1,000 when they are sold at Wallis and Wallis in Lewes, East Sussex.

Mr Jordan died aged 90 on December 30 – six months after earning the nickname the Great Escaper for his cross-Channel escapade last summer.

His disappearance to Normandy on June 5 sparked a police search that led to him being catapulted to international attention.

His whereabouts emerged only when a younger veteran phoned later that night to say he had met Mr Jordan and he was safe.

Royal Navy veteran Mr Jordan told reporters on his return that his aim was to remember his fallen “mates”.

He had decided to join British veterans, most making their final pilgrimage to revisit the scene of their momentous invasion, to remember the heroes of the liberation of Europe.

Today’s auction lot will be accompanied by a portrait of Mr Jordan on canvas and a coloured print of a Bob cartoon from The Sunday Telegraph from June last year, showing Mr Jordan astride Steve McQueen’s motorcycle clearing barbed wire as in the film The Great Escape, a spokeswoman for the auctioneer said.

Items relating to Mr Jordan’s visit to Normandy, his 90th birthday, a copy of a handwritten letter addressed to former prime minister Gordon Brown in which Mr Jordan says that he served “on a Royal Navy Tank landing ship which was in the first wave ashore on D-Day in Normandy”, and his Brittany Ferries return trip ticket confirmation printouts from June last year will also be sold, she said.

Mr Jordan, who turned 90 shortly after his trip and was inundated with more than 2,500 birthday cards, had hoped to return to Normandy this June.

Brittany Ferries, which carried him across the Channel last summer, offered him free crossings to D-Day events for the rest of his life.

Seven days after Mr Jordan’s death, his wife Irene also died, aged 88, prompting tributes to the couple who it emerged had left their entire £600,000 estate to the RNLI.

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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