Family pay tribute to D-day veteran Victor
THE family of a D-day veteran who died last week have paid tribute to a man who “loved life”.
Victor Howard (88), of Adderley, Bretton, died on Sunday, May 6, after a long illness.
The lifelong Peterborough man fought on the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944, when the Allies launched the European invasion in the Second World War.
He did not like to talk about his experience, which earned him a clutch of medals, but remained proud of his service throughout his life.
Daughter Anne Howard (59), who lived with her dad, said: “He loved life, even to the end.
“And he was a military man, through and through.
“He was invited to several garden parties at Buckingham Palace and other events, it was a huge honour for him.”
Victor was born in Gladstone Street in 1924 and grew up in Peterborough and Castor, the son of a railway man and the greatgrandson of the city’s last lamplighter.
He enlisted on November 5, 1942, as a sapper in the Royal Engineers and served until 1947 when he was demobbed.
After training and posting in North Africa, Victor was sent to the Normandy beaches for the Allied invasion of Europe.
Speaking to the Evening Telegraph in May 2005, he said nobody knew where they were going until they arrived.
He awoke that morning, came up on deck and saw a forearm floating past.
His service earned him the France and Germany Star, the 1939 - 45 Star, the War Medal and the General Service Medal.
Anne said: “He never really spoke about his experiences but he was proud and we went back to Normandy for an anniversary.”
After the war he married his sweetheart Kathleen in St Paul’s Church on The Triangle.
The pair set up home in nearby Vere Road and had daughter Anne and son Richard.
He worked for the council before moving to Perkins Engines, where he worked for 30 years.
Victor enjoyed gardening and holidays to Hunstanton, Mablethorpe and later Malta.
After retirement he was active in the Normandy Veterans’ Association, the Royal British Legion and he was vice president of the Royal Engineer Association Peterborough branch for five years.
His funeral is at St Paul’s Church on Tuesday, May 22, at 1pm followed by cremation at Peterborough Crematorium, where the Last Post will be sounded. Donations in memory are to the Royal Engineer Association.
Victor leaves daughter Anne, son Richard, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
TRIBUTE: Victor Howard died at the age of 88 after a long illness.