Two D-Day veterans old school pals reunited after 87 years die within a day of each other

Two D-Day veterans who had not met since childhood until they were reunited almost 90 years later died within 24 hours of each other.

Thursday, 17th May 2018, 4:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th May 2018, 4:54 pm
Gordon Horsewood, 96 year-old Normandy veteran died on April 30, pictured in 2012 with a photograph of his WW2 comrades.

Roger Maywood and Gordon Horsewood both survived the horrors of the Normandy landings and whatever the Second World War could throw at them.

They were pals at Broomhill Lane school in Mansfield and last met when Roger was four and Gordon was six.

Unbeknownst to each other they served in France at the same, Gordon in the Tank Corps, and Roger in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).

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Roger Maywood presented with the Legion D'Honneur by Honorary French Consul Jean Claude La Fontaine.

For their services to France they were each awarded the Legion d’Honneur.

They did not meet again until 2014 at an event in Ladybrook Library to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D Day and became firm friends at the Mansfield and Ashfield Veterans’ Breakfast Club.

Councillor Sean McCallum, Armed Forces Champion for Mansfield District Council, runs the The Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club at the Bold Forester on Botany Avenue,

He said: “Roger had been coming for some time .

Roger Maywood.

“Then we got a message from the Royal British Legion that Gordon would like to attend.

“We knew they were both D-Day veterans and so we sat them opposite each other.

“They recognised each other straight away as they had been at school together.

“They renewed their old acquaintance in the company of veterans of more recent campaigns who valued their contribution and their experiences.”

“Sadly they were taken ill and died within days of each other.”

Roger passed away aged 94 on April 29 2018 and Gordon aged 96 on April 30 2018.

Roger Maywood served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. His job was to help service tanks and other vehicles during the inland push after the Normandy beaches were taken by the Allied forces on 6th June, 1944.

Mr Maywood died on April 29 at Woodleigh Christian Car Home on Norfolk Drive Mansfield.

He is survived by two daughters and two grandsons.

Mr Maywood was born on Abbot road Mansfield. He met his fiancée Mabel when they were both 16, married her in 1948 and they were together until 2015 when Mabel died.

He joined the LDV at 16, then enlisted at 18 in 1941.

Mr Maywood served with REME 69th Infantry Brigade Workshop, attached to 50th (Northumbrian) Division, all through the campaign in NW Europe.

As part of the ‘rear echelon’ his role was to retrieve, repair and service tanks and other vehicles used in the campaign. For this he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 2016 by the French Government for services to France.

On leaving Nevilles he joined the Co-op funeral service, then the Ambulance Service in Mansfield in 1957 and worked there until his retirement in 1997. During that time he also worked part-time for Ingham’s funeral service and what was then Thieves Wood School for Disabled Children.

After retirement he volunteered for the Hospital Car Service, helped Mabel run the Daffodils canteen at Mansfield General Hospital, helped out at the Stable Centre and the Turner Hall Community Market. He was a staunch supporter of St Edmund’s church.

He was a member of Mansfield Woodhouse TOC H for many years, organising, amongst other things, outings for disabled children to Mablethorpe, Christmas parties for the blind and annual toy collections for disadvantaged children.

He was President of Mansfield Woodhouse Probus and a trustee of Disability Notts.

His daughter Linda said: “He spent a lifetime helping and looking after people, from his family, his friends, and all the charities he supported. The family has been overwhelmed by the affection and respect for dad that has come from so many people whose lives he touched.

She added: “Dad was gentle, kind, sincere, trusting, generous, funny and a great friend to many people.

He knew what was important to others, he sincerely cared about them and was well loved in return.”

“He was still enjoying new experiences making new friends all the time, at Sutton Court, and through his membership of the Mansfield and Ashfield Veterans’ Breakfast Club, which was an important new part of his life.”

A funeral service will be held at 11am on Friday May 18 at St Edmund’s, Mansfield Woodhouse.

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 and 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 and 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 at 1.15pm,