D-Day hero Percy Lewis dies, aged 99

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Private Percy Lewis stormed Sword Beach during the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944. The wireless operator was later captured and spent the last six months of the Second World War as a PoW at Stalag XIB in Fallingbostel, Germany.

Percy was pictured at the moment he was liberated from the German camp. He weighed just six stone by the time Allied soldiers reached the prison in April 1945.

Percy served in the 1st Buckinghamshire Battalion, and saw action in France, Belgium and Holland.

He later said of the Normandy landings: “When we landed, it was terrible. Dead bodies, blown-up tanks, all burning away. But there was nothing you could do about it.”

After the war, he became an active member of the Normandy Veterans’ Association and travelled every year to Arromanches, France.

Percy, a widower who had two daughters, died at his home in Guildford, Surrey, on Tuesday, prompting widespread tributes from the veterans community.

Mike Dorrington, of the Normandy Veterans’ Association, said: “Every year Percy would go over and he would insist on laying a cross on the graves of his comrades killed in battle. It was a pleasure to know him.”



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