News: The team at Gregory House hosted a special celebration high tea for their 93 year old resident, Frank Northing, as part of marking the D-Day 75th anniversary.
The team at Gregory House hosted a special celebration high tea for their 93 year old resident, Frank Northing, as part of marking the D-Day 75th anniversary. Frank stepped onto Normandy Beach 75 years ago and fought for liberty.
It was a harrowing time for him and his comrades. As an eighteen year old, he recalls waiting for the weather to be “right” on Tuesday 6th of June 1944. For breakfast that morning he was given half a mug of rum and to a non-drinker it did not go down well! But he knew it was for Dutch courage. Afterwards, they were all lowered into the water which was chest high and they waded with their rifles above their heads. Almost immediately Frank was shot and eventually found himself on Southampton beach with some wounds that needed attention. At Grantham hospital, on the military ward, he was the first soldier to be treated with penicillin. A month later Frank was discharged from hospital and after his recuperation, he was sent to Caen in France where he made his way through Belgium and at the Albert Canal his unit fought the Germans. He also helped to secure the bridge at Nijmegen in Holland. But during this time he was captured by the Germans when a tank shell targeting a nearby mansion knocked him out. He was patched up by a German doctor and was soon freed by his advancing comrades.
Frank was awarded the highest honour given by France which was The Legion D Honneaur.
Louise Kirk, Area Operations Manager, commented: “We are really delighted to be able to hold this event to honour Frank. It is a cause of huge celebration and of thanks to an individual who was so actively involved in the second world war. He stepped onto Normandy Beach as part of the military operation and fought bravely for all our freedom. Here at OSJCT we really care and value our residents and aim to create wonderful memories and experiences. To hear their stories is inspiring and occasions like this help to support people in a person-centred manner. Everyone in Gregory House has been involved with organising this fabulous event and special thanks to them all.”