ALBERT Hodgson, one of only two surviving veterans of the D-Day landings living in the Wakefield area, has died aged 88.
His regiment, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, was among the vast army which landed in Normandy in June 1944 as part of Operation Overlord. It turned the Second World War in the Allies’ favour and saw thousands of troops carve their way across France and Belgium into the heart of Germany, liberating Europe from Nazi occupation.
Mr Hodgson served as a fusilier, having joined up when he was 18 at the outbreak of the war, and was among those who landed in France on the fourth day of the operation. He went on to Arnhem and Nijmegen, and as the war was ending in Europe in May 1945 he was posted to India and the Far East. He served there for another year.
Mr Hodgson, who lived in Gawthorpe, was born in Wakefield, the third of nine children and eldest son of Joseph, a glassblower, and Florence Hodgson.
He was educated at Snapethorpe School, Wakefield, and following his military service became an engineer at Sutcliffe’s in the city.
He was a member of the Normandy Veterans’ Association Leeds 61 Branch which made annual visits to France in memory of their fallen comrades. He was one of seven from the branch, and one of only two survivors still living in Wakefield, who returned in 2009 for the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings and attended a memorial service on Gold beach. The other was Percy Boffey, who had been a sergeant in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and with whom he kept regular contact through the Association.
Their visit was made possible by a grant of £5,750 provided by The Big Lottery Fund’s Heroes Return 2.
Mr Hodgson was a keen Crown Green bowler, playing in local leagues for Ossett Flying Horse Bowling Club, was an honorary member of Gawthorpe Conservative Club, and a life-long supporter of Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Club.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Muriel, whom he met at Ossett Feast, his twin daughters Jane and Jean, grandchildren Craig, Lisa, Clinton, Adele and Adam, and great-grandchildren Robyn, Harvey, Emily, Hannah, Declan and Ethan.