How did Harry Billinge die: Harry Billinge, an adored war hero, has died at the age of 96. Mr. Billinge, of St Austell, died peacefully this morning at home (April 5).
Who was Harry Billinge?
Mr Billinge MBE was only 18 years old when he was part of the first wave on Gold Beach in 1944, while serving with the Royal Engineers. He stated that the hell he went through that day never left him, which is why he dedicated the rest of his life to ensuring that those sacrifices were remembered.
The veteran raised thousands of pounds in his lifetime and, just last year, realized his lifelong dream of seeing the construction of a D-Day memorial, saying he will “tell that story until the day [he] dies.” Tributes have poured in for the hero, who was seen raising funds for a Normandy memorial in Par Market and St Austell town center as well as on regular TV appearances.
He dedicated his life to those who did not return home from the Normandy invasion, stating that his “greatest wish” was to see a memorial built in his lifetime to honor those men. He was able to visit that memorial recently, shortly after receiving his MBE from the Queen. He was also honored with a GWR train named after him.
He is remembered as “a true character” and “a hero, plain and simple,” whose efforts “will never be forgotten.”
Cause of death
Mr. and Mrs. Billinge had been married for 67 years and were getting ready to celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary in August.
How did Harry Billinge die: D-Day veteran Harry Billinge died at the age of 96 after a short illness, according to his family.
Mr. Billinge is survived by his wife Shelia, his son Christopher, two daughters Sally and Margot, and grandchildren Amy and Claire.
The British Legion said
“Man Down,” I’m sorry to inform you that our brother Horace ‘Harry’ Billinge died this morning at home. Harry is a veteran of the D-Day landings and the orchestrator of the Normandy memorial, which he recently visited with his family after receiving his MBE from HM The Queen. Harry, rest in peace.”
John Maher wrote
“I am personally heartbroken to inform you that our Commando brother Horace ‘Harry’ Billinge passed away this morning at home,”. I was fortunate to have met our ‘Harry’ on a few occasions and thoroughly enjoyed his company while listening to his stories. He was a lot of fun and a pleasure to know.
“In the coming days, we will hear a lot about him in the media, but I will remember his words, ‘I am one of the BOYS.'” I am confident you will join me in sending our heartfelt condolences to his wife Sheila and daughter Margot. “Rest in peace, ‘Harry.'”
Steve Double, a member of the House of Commons
“a hero, plain and simple.” “Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of St Austell’s Harry Billinge,” he wrote. Harry was, simply put, a hero. For his actions on D-Day and years of service to his country.
“And, in later years, his tireless fundraising for a Normandy Memorial, which he saw come to fruition during his lifetime. Thank you for your service, Harry. My heartfelt condolences go out to your family and everyone whose lives you touched.”
According to Jacqui Crane
“Harry Billinge, rest in peace. Thank you for your service, your tireless fundraising, and your witty wit. You had an impact on everyone. At this time, you should be thinking of your family and friends.”
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