A final farewell for a Preston D-Day hero

Bob is given a military send-off at his funeral in Preston.
Bob is given a military send-off at his funeral in Preston.

D-Day veteran Bob Barron was given a hero’s send-off when he was laid to rest in Preston yesterday.

The frontline fighter, who took part in the Normandy landings and was at the spearhead as the Allies swept across Europe to conquer Hitler’s Germany, took the salute from veterans as he made his final journey.

Bob, who was awarded France’s highest military honour, the Legion D’Honneur, for his role in liberating the country from Nazi invaders, died in a nursing home in Preston after a short illness, aged 98.

Nephew Michael Barron described his uncle as “a remarkable man.” He said: “He enjoyed his life to the full. He was someone who had a lot of fun and was a real character.”

Bob was born in Sollom near Tarleton and was called up by the Army in 1942, initially to the Royal Artillery before transferring to the Pioneer Corps.

During the liberation of France their job was to construct airfields, roads and bridges. They constructed two Mulberry Harbours at Gold and Omaha Beaches to allow the rapid offloading of cargo and vehicles onto the shores of Normandy.

After D-Day Bob fought at Arnhem, the Battle of the Bulge and was amongst the first troops to cross the Rhine into Germany.

In 2016 he was presented with the Legion D’Honneur by the French Consul at Fulwood Barracks as a token of the nation’s gratitude.

He modestly said at the time he had only played “a small role in a very large team effort." "I was lucky to survive the conflict without injury and I always remember, every day, my comrades and friends who weren’t so lucky.”

Bob was a keen Preston North End fan and had supported the club for 80 years.