Dunkirk and D-Day veteran Jack dies (98)

D-Day veteran Jack Eccles
D-Day veteran Jack Eccles

A Dunkirk and D-Day veteran from Burnley has died at the age of 98.

Mr Jack Eccles served as a gunner in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War when he was involved in two of the most memorable actions of the conflict.

I wasn’t a hero, those that didn’t come back were

Jack Eccles

After being evacuated from Dunkirk at the start of the war, he was later part of a detachment that landed on Sword Beach in Normandy in June, 1944, and eventually fought its way to Germany.

Mr Eccles spoke to the Burnley Express ahead of Remembrance Day in November, 2014.

He said then: “I wasn’t a hero, those that didn’t come back were. It’s very important that the country continues to have remembrance services because so many gave their lives for our freedom.

“Landing on those beaches wasn’t very pleasant. We made our way right through to Germany and that was even worse. There were bodies piled up everywhere – it was a scene of carnage.”

Born in the Healey Wood area Jack married Iris, his late wife, who was a sergeant in the RAF.

He last visited Normandy in 1994 at the 50th anniversary of the landings and was featured in a Swedish newspaper.

His funeral on Friday at Burnley Crematorium was attended by members of the Royal British Legion.

He leaves son John, friend Annette, five grandchildren and several great- grandchildren. He also had a late son David.