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Tribute paid to D-Day invasion survivor

Thomas Garbutt with his medals preparing to attend the Remembrance service in Thorne Park in 2005.

Thomas Garbutt with his medals preparing to attend the Remembrance service in Thorne Park in 2005.

A World War Two veteran who survived the D-Day invasion has passed away, aged 89.

Thomas Garbutt of Thorne died at Doncaster Royal Infirmary last month, and his son Andrew this week recalled his father’s heroic duties as a member of the Royal Navy, which he joined at just 17.

“At such a young age he had to face many frightening situations,” he explained. “His worst experience during the conflict was the battle of Anzio in Italy in 1944. Here, his naval ship was constantly bombed by german Stuka bombers.”

He added: “Dad often recalled the D-Day invasion. The ship was anchored off Plymouth (alongside many others) for approximately two weeks before June 6. No-one knew why, how long they would be anchored for or what the next assignment would be. He recalled the crew receiving orders early in the morning of June 6 to lift anchor and off they set for Normandy. When the ship’s crew learned what they were going to do dad said his thought were ‘oh no, another Anzio nightmare!’.”

Mr Garbutt (pictured), who had a passion for gadening and watching Arsenal, was very proud of the six medals he was awarded for his courage while serving his country in the Royal Navy. He leaves six children and 14 grandchildren.

Mr Garbutt also spent 42 years working at Thorne and Hatfield collieries.

 

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