Missing veteran found in France marking D-Day anniversary

89-year-old contacts nursing home to say his friends will ensure he gets back safely

Veterans attend a ceremony yesterday at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Photograph: Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

Veterans attend a ceremony yesterday at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Photograph: Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

Sat, Jun 7, 2014, 01:00

An 89-year-old veteran reported missing from a nursing home was found in France marking the anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The pensioner, who left wearing his war medals, has contacted the home and said his friends are going to make sure he gets back safely when the commemorations end.

Police were called at 7.15pm yesterday by staff at a nursing home in Hove who said an 89-year-old who lived there had gone out at 10.30am and had not been seen since.

He had gone out wearing a grey raincoat and a jacket underneath with his war medals on, police said.

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Officers began searching the area, including checking hospitals in case something had happened to him, and spoke to bus and taxi companies, but none of them knew where he was.

The nursing home received a phone call from a younger veteran from Brighton at 10.30pm who said he had met the pensioner on a coach on the way to France and that they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham.

In a statement, Sussex Police added: “We have spoken to the veteran, who called the home today, and are satisfied that the pensioner is fine and that his friends are going to ensure he gets back to Hove safely over the next couple of days after the D-Day celebrations finish.

“Once the pensioner is home, we will go and have a chat with him to check he is OK.”

Chief Supt Nev Kemp, police commander for the city of Brighton & Hove, also tweeted: “Love this: 89yr old veteran reported missing by care home who said he can’t go to Normandy for #DDay70 remembrance. We’ve found him there!”

Sussex Police said they would not be naming the man or the nursing home. – (PA)