A son is offering a reward in a desperate bid to be reunited with a lost D-Day veteran’s beret.
George Harris was a 28-year-old sergeant who stormed up the Normandy beaches in the first wave of the invasion on June 6, 1944.
His son Tony, of Laton Road, Hastings, keeps the old soldier’s memory alive doing talks all over East Sussex while wearing his father’s immaculately kept battledress.
But on November 18 after a talk at the Cooden Beach Hotel, Tony mislaid his father’s precious headgear - and he is now desperate to get it back.
Tony said: “It’s a standard issue service issue black beret with a Royal Engineers cap badge and it will be worth very little to anyone else.
“But to me it means the world. My dad wore the beret throughout his 23-year military career, retiring as a sergeant major, and it is part of his kit I wear when I tell his story.”
Tony is a full-time entertainer who makes a living usually impersonating King Henry VIII.
He is offering a £50 reward for the safe return of the beret.
Tony told the
George Harris was a bridge builder in Scotland when war was declared and joined up immediately with his two brothers. In 1940 he was stationed at the garrison in Iceland and was disappointed not to join the expeditionary force which was unceremoniously driven out of mainland Europe through Dunkirk.
But his chance was to come. After two years of training in southern England he was ready to take part in the largest invasion the world had ever seen. His first objective was to take Sword Beach on the left flank of the Normandy landings and went ashore with his platoon in a landing craft.
But disaster was moments away - the young naval subaltern commanding the craft stopped it too far off the beach, and when the ramp went down the first four men off drowned. George thumped the officer, took control and rammed it up the beach. He could have been court martialled for striking an officer but instead was mentioned in dispatches.
The Normandy landings were the landing operations on June 6, 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during the Second World War. It was the start of the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, which led to the liberation of France from Nazi control, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.
Anyone with information on the lost beret can ring 07702 306670.