FELLOW Normandy veterans have said farewell to Cyril Haworth, whose funeral took place yesterday, almost 69 years after he took part in the D-Day landings.
Mr Haworth, of Tollerton, who chaired the York branch of the Normandy Veterans Association, died last month after a short illness at the age of 90, leaving a widow, Margaret.
Two members of the association held standards aloft as his coffin, draped in the Union Flag and with his medals and beret placed on it, was carried in to the chapel at York Cemetery to the tune of Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller.
His son Tony, giving the eulogy, told how Mr Haworth had started a career as a management trainee with a textiles firm on September 4, 1939, but good employment did not insulate anyone from the war and he enlisted in the Local Defence Volunteers before being called up in 1941.
He said his father had landed on Gold Beach on June 6, 1944 and was then captured by the Germans in the October and imprisoned in a farmhouse - but not for long. “Nobody was going to keep Dad at bay and he finally escaped,” he said.
“Following his capture, mum received the dreaded telegram, advising her that Captain Haworth was missing, which could have been the worst day of her life. But it came on the same day as a personal letter from dad saying he was safe - written after he had escaped.”
He said his father had become actively involved in the association from 2004, raising funds to enable the dwindling band of veterans to return to Normandy to remember their wartime colleagues who never left.
“Dad put a lot of effort into raising the status of this organisation, and was well-respected at the highest level in the York area.”
He urged his father now to “take a rest,” saying:” Rest in the peace of knowing that your loved ones, your friends, your fellow veterans will not forget what you did for the freedom of future generations of your homeland.”