VETERAN’S PROUDEST MOMENT... MARRYING THE BEST GIRL EVER
THE Queen stood as a D-Day veteran now aged 99 took to the stage at yesterday’s ceremony recognising the bravery of those who fought in the invasion.
Born on November 16, 1919, John Jenkins, from Portsmouth, joined the Army in 1940.
He was just 23 when he landed on Gold Beach, one of the five landing points on the French coast. He fought from there through France, Belgium and on into Germany where he helped liberate a concentration camp at Fallingbostel.
His valour led to him being made an MBE by the Queen and given the French Legion d’Honneur.
But he said the biggest achievement in his life was “marrying the best girl in the world” – Peggy, his wife for 74 years. She died in 2014. He even sneaked off
base to see her before the invasion began. He explained: “I was locked up in a camp in Essex, near Tilbury, and I heard there was a gap in the fence and a few people had slipped home.
“I was so anxious to see my wife, because I knew what was going to happen, especially as they issued us with French money.”
But duty then came first and “I said goodbye and went back”.
John Jenkins on stage yesterday during the Portsmouth ceremony