D-Day veteran and British Legion stalwart Gordon dies aged 96

Gordon Horsewood, 96 year-old Normandy veteran died on April 30, pictured in 2012 with a photograph of his WW2 comrades.
Gordon Horsewood, 96 year-old Normandy veteran died on April 30, pictured in 2012 with a photograph of his WW2 comrades.

A community has paid tribute to a Second World War veteran who survived the D Day landings to play his part in the liberation of Europe.

Mansfield Royal British Legion stalwart Gordon Horsewood died peacefully aged 96 on April 30 after a short illness

He was a member of the Royal British Legion since 1953 and was branch president until retiring from the post when he turned 90.

Rev David Addison chairman of the Mansfield Bellamy branch of the Royal British Legion said: “Gordon was an old friend of mine - I knew him when he started the branch in 1989 and I became the chaplain.

“He was always very cheerful generous and helpful and ready to help other people whenever he could.

“He will be sadly missed.”

Mr Horsewood, served with the Royal Tank Regiment from 1940 until 1947.

He was part of the D-Day Normandy Invasion aand helped liberate the French city of Caen before going on to the liberation of Roosendaal in the Netherlands and then into Germany.

Born in Kirkby in 1921 he worked first for Mansfield Shoe Co, then in the Time Office at Sherwood colliery. Following his army service he worked at Hucknall colliery rising to the position of production manager’s clerk.

In 1963 he worked as cashier for Shacklocks solicitors before setting up his own business in 1974, retiring in 1986.

In earlier years he had spent 15 years with the Mansfield Youth Football League helping to run seven teams. In 1952 he joined the Hucknall branch of the Royal British Legion, transferring to the Mansfield branch in 1963. In 1989 he formed the Mansfield Bellamy branch, He wasbranch president for several years, and, on resigning was appointed honorary vice-president. During his time with the RBL he was awarded the Gold Badge, Life membership, and the National Certificate of Appreciation, the highest Legion award.

He was also a Companion of the local Fellowship of the Services.

Gordon spent his last years at Poppyfields in Mansfield, previously living on Bellamy Road. He is survived by his daughter Carol and two grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at Mansfield crematorium, Thoresby chapel, Friday 25th May 1.15pm, followed by refreshments at The Hub, Poppy Fields NG19 6FF.