D-day veteran Bernard Jordan’s wife Irene dies aged 88

Press Association
The wife of a war veteran who slipped away from his care home to attend last year’s D-day 70th anniversary events in France has died days after her husband.
Irene Jordan, 88, died on Tuesday evening, a week after the death of her husband, Bernard, who was nicknamed the Great Escaper after his cross-Channel adventure last summer. He died in hospital aged 90 on 30 December – six months after he captured national attention when he travelled to D-day commemorative events in Normandy wearing his war medals.Amanda Scott, the managing director of Gracewell Healthcare, which runs The Pines care home in Hove, East Sussex, where the couple lived, confirmed Irene Jordan’s death. “Irene and Bernie will both be much missed by everyone at the home and our thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and family at this sad time.”
The mayor of Brighton and Hove, Brian Fitch, paid tribute to the Jordans. “They were a very close couple who will both be sadly missed,” he said. “Irene went into the care home first, after Bernie had looked after her at home, so it came as a bit of a shock that he died first.
“They had been married for more than 50 years and were a devoted couple. After he had gone, she probably gave up the will. They were religious people who are now reunited.”A ceremony celebrating their lives will take place at All Saints church in Hove on 30 January, followed by a private funeral. A minute’s silence will be held at the next meeting of Brighton and Hove council.
Bernard Jordan’s disappearance triggered a police search on 5 June. His whereabouts emerged only when a younger second world war veteran phoned that night to say he had met him and he was safe.
Jordan, a former member of the Royal Navy and ex-mayor of Hove, said on his return his aim was to remember his fallen mates. He had decided to join British veterans, most of them making their final pilgrimage to the scene of the allied invasion.
About 156,000 allied troops landed on the five beaches on 6 June 1944, the start of an 80-day campaign to liberate Normandy that involved 3 million soldiers and cost 250,000 lives.
Jordan had hoped to return to Normandy in June this year. Brittany Ferries, which carried him across the Channel last summer, offered him free crossings after learning of his exploits.Following his death, the Royal British Legion said Jordan’s decision to go to France highlighted “the spirit that epitomises the second world war generation”.
On his 90th birthday, days after he returned from his escapade, he was inundated with more than 2,500 birthday cards from around the world.
Jordan was later made an honorary alderman of Brighton and Hove in a special ceremony at Brighton town hall.
Others to have also received the honour include Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi, former Olympic champion Steve Ovett, and first world war hero Henry Allingham, who became the world’s oldest man before his death at 113 in 2009.