York D-Day veteran dies aged 93, days after returning to Normandy

Roy Rowbotham, who has died aged 93

Roy Rowbotham, who has died aged 93

First published in News
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York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

A CELEBRATED Normandy veteran who lived in York has died at the age of 93, just days after returning from the 70th anniversary commemorations of D-Day in France.

Roy Rowbotham, from Bishopthorpe, was a career soldier in the Royal Artillery. He died early on Saturday morning and his family have paid tribute.

Son Rob and daughter Angela have said their father lived a very full life, and should be remembered as a "fighter to the very end" who always battled adversity.

"He was as fit as a fiddle until he was into his 90s, and lived a very full life," Rob added.

Mr Rowbotham was born in Sheffield in 1921, and moved to York in 1972 when he was posted to Imphal Barracks, and has lived in the city ever since.

He became known as one of York's "Magnificient Seven" D Day veterans, and recently spoke of his experiences on Sword Beach ahead of the 70th anniversary.

He told The Press earlier this month: "It was raining cats and dogs when our truck went down the ramp of a landing barge on Sword Beach. There was chaos on the beach. Everything had been well organised beforehand but then nothing went as planned."

Son Rob travelled to Normandy with Mr Rowbotham. His father had been determined to take his place in the commemorations and was very proud to be present, he said.

"He rallied for the trip to Normandy, and he was at his best on the sixth and managed the whole day.

"We went to the Bayeaux cemetery in the morning, where he met Camilla and spoke to her."

As well as his actions on D-Day, Mr Rowbotham fought as a Desert Rat in North Africa and served in Korea, Japan, Singapore, Northern Ireland and Germany - where he met his wife Christa.

The couple married in 1960 and had two children and three grandchildren.

Mr Rowbotham's children have thanked the Normandy Veterans' Association for their support and help making the trip to Normandy possible.

>> JUNE 2: Magnificent Seven tell of their D-Day experiences

York Press: WWII War Veterans from the Normandy Veterans Association in York...preparing to leave York today (Weds 4th June 2014) for a D-Day Anniversary tour. The tour takes place over the weekend and marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy.Seen

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