Passing of a war hero

John Squires in Normandy for the 70th anniversary last year.

John Squires in Normandy for the 70th anniversary last year.

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One of the heroes of the Normandy landings has passed away.

John Squires, who lived in Roberttown Grange, was a WWII veteran who fought at the D-Day Landings and was later president of the Heckmondwike branch of the Royal British Legion.

Last year Mr Squires, along with son Andrew and daughter Linda, attended the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy. While in Normandy he met Prince William and was thrilled to shake his hand.

John was born in 1924 and was brought up in Heckmondwike. At 18 he was drafted into the war, joining the Royal Medical Corps and later the Somerset Light Infantry.

On June 6 1944 he found himself on a hospital ship sailing to the Normandy beaches. As a medic his duties were to attend to the wounded soldiers on the beaches and help transport them back to the hospital ship and onto Southampton for treatment.

Later he was transferred to the Somerset Light Infantry and fought in Holland and Belgium. He was awarded the Market-Garden Campaign Medal in recognition of participation in the campaign which ran from September-November 1944.

Mr Squires married his wife, Joan, in September 1946. They had two children, Linda and Andrew and lived in Cemetery Road, Heckmondwike, where John was a committee member of the cricket club.

He worked at several factories and finally retired from Bridon Wire, Cleckheaton in 1982 due to ill health.

John and Joan moved to Roberttown in 1985, firstly to a bungalow and later to Roberttown Grange.

He was chairman of the Heckmondwike branch of the Royal British Legion from 1990 until 1993 and then president in 2001.

Mr Squires leaves his close family, including his two children, daughter-in-law Susan, grandsons Matthew and Alexander and sister Margaret.

His funeral will take place at All Saints Parish Church in Roberttown on Tuesday at 2.15pm.