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UK News One of Britain's youngest D-Day heroes who was wounded during the Normandy break-out and volunteered in Africa after the war dies just a week before Remembrance Sunday

11:05  06 november  2019
11:05  06 november  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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heroes who was wounded during the Normandy break - out and volunteered in Africa after the war dies just a week before Remembrance Sunday . D - Day hero Albert 'Bert' Barritt has died one week before Remembrance Sunday . Barritt was 18 when he waded ashore Sword Beach with East

" One of Britain ' s youngest D - Day heroes , who was wounded during the Normandy break - out and volunteered in Africa after the war , has died just a week before Remembrance Sunday . Albert 'Bert' Barritt was just 18 when he took part in the operation to free Europe from the Nazis.

One of Britain's youngest D-Day heroes, who was wounded during the Normandy break-out and volunteered in Africa after the war, has died just a week before Remembrance Sunday.

Albert 'Bert' Barritt was just 18 when he took part in the operation to free Europe from the Nazis. The average age of a British Tommy taking part in the liberation was 22.

Bert, from York, passed away at 94 as Britain prepares to honour veterans across the country.

The infantryman was called up and was sent to Scotland to train for the invasion with The Second Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment.

a group of people standing together in uniform: Albert Barritt (right) pictured with fellow veterans at a performance of 'Bomb Happy' at Georgian Theatre Royal in North Yorkshire in 2017 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Albert Barritt (right) pictured with fellow veterans at a performance of 'Bomb Happy' at Georgian Theatre Royal in North Yorkshire in 2017 a couple of people posing for the camera: Albert Barritt pictured with Tom Lillywhite, an actor who played Bert in a local theatre production of 'Bomb Happy' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Albert Barritt pictured with Tom Lillywhite, an actor who played Bert in a local theatre production of 'Bomb Happy'

The teenager was among the first wave of reinforcements who waded ashore on Sword Beach at 10.30am past the bodies of their fallen comrades.

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Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of the remembrance poppy) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

Canadian Infantry going ashore during the Normandy invasion . He was among a select few officers who were informed of the date and location of the D - Day invasion and was If D - Day was a success, initial Allied efforts to break quickly out of Normandy and begin the march toward Germany were not.

His death comes 75 years since hundreds of thousands of allies landed on the beaches in France to fight back against the Nazis in World War II.

Sword Beach was the code name given to one of the five main landing areas along the Normandy coast during Operation Overlord.

Although there was very little cover, initial landings were achieved with low casualties.

But Bert was wounded during the advance from the beach, which was slowed by fierce Nazi resistance in heavily defended areas behind the beachhead.

He said in 2014: 'Three weeks beforehand they took 50 men and said we were immediate reinforcements, so I came in at half past ten instead of half past seven, and I walked off the beach.

'They had cleared the resistance in three hours. There was no fire at all - there was plenty of noise because all the ships were firing but nothing coming after us.

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Image caption D - Day on Omaha beach in Normandy . On 6 June 1944, British, US and Canadian forces invaded the coast of Normandy in northern France. The Germans took the bait so much that even after D - Day they held many of their best troops in the Calais area expecting a second invasion.

During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy , which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944 Preparing for D - Day . After World War II began, Germany invaded and occupied northwestern France The Americans entered the war in December 1941, and by 1942 they and the British ( who had In the months and weeks before D - Day , the Allies carried out a massive deception operation

'Three weeks later I was wounded in my hand with shrapnel and was out for four months.'

One of Bert's duties was to place a ground-to-air mark on the beach to help guide in friendly planes supporting the ground troops.

Ian Richardson of the Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington said: 'This is terrible news, particularly as we approach Remembrance Sunday.

a flock of seagulls flying over a body of water: Omaha Beach secured after D-Day in 1944. Allied soldiers landed on Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944 at the start of a campaign to drive German forces from France which ultimately led to the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Omaha Beach secured after D-Day in 1944. Allied soldiers landed on Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944 at the start of a campaign to drive German forces from France which ultimately led to the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two

'It has been an honour to have Bert and indeed all the 'boys' with us on so many occasions here at Elvington.

'Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to Bert's family and friends. It is a sad loss indeed.'

Bert was one of five veterans whose personal testimonies about their D-Day experiences formed the basis for a play called Bomb Happy, which has been performed at schools and arts centres all over the Uk including the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

He received France's highest honour, the Legion d'Honneur, in 2016 - almost two years after it was promised by former French President Francois Hollande.

A devout Christian, he went on to teach children in the deaf community in Africa after the war.

Nick Beilby, who arranges veterans' anniversary trips to Normandy, said: 'Bert was a wonderful man, who always put others before himself and whose faith underpinned his life.

'I was greatly privileged to have known him.'

Read more

U.S. Navy Destroyer Sunk in World War II Is Found 20,000 Feet Under the Sea .
Correction: November 5, 2019 This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the sinkings of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the U.S.S. Wasp and the U.S.S. Hornet. They occurred in the Pacific Theater during World War II, but not during the Battle of Midway. © U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command The U.S.S. Johnson DD-557 off the coast of Washington in October 1943. It was a mismatch — a small task unit of United States Navy ships confronted by a mighty squadron of Japanese warships.

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