A war hero presented with a commemorative medal by HRH Prince Edward at the 70th anniversary of a crucial battle in the Second World War died yesterday.
Cliff Broom, 93, from Uploders, one of only six surviving veterans from the Battle for Hill 112 in Arromanche, was at the remembrance ceremony on July 12 and was presented with his medal by HRH Prince Edward.
Mr Broom was 23 when he set sail as part of the 4th Dorset Battalion that invaded France during the D-Day landings, and landed on Arromanche beach.
Brian Beer secretary of the Bridport branch of the Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association old comrades said he was privileged to have known Mr Broom for 20 years.
Mr Beer said: “He was a great man to be with and a great character.
“It is sad that he has passed away but he was 93.
“He went to France with us for the remembrance services and he really did enjoy
going back there. It was the first time he’d been back since he was demobbed and it was great to see him take part in the march past and the other activities throughout the weekend.
“He said he was really glad he’d come and said how much fun he’d had.
“A lot of people took a lot of interest in him. He had all his medals and people were asking him lots of questions.
“I am certain it was something he wanted to do before something happened to him.
“All the members were privileged to have known him.”
Mr Broom was one of only three veterans of World War II left in the association.
As part of the ceremony in France, Mr Broom laid a wreath at the memorial on what is still called Hill 112.
In his interview with the News two weeks ago Mr Boom said: “It was a touching ceremony, emotional. Everybody there including the veterans and the local schoolchildren were all quite emotional.
“The local French people we met were so kind towards us, they were ever so thankful towards us. I think it’s important to remember the battles after the landings. They were just as important.
“After the ceremony we went to sit on the beach wall and we were surrounded by local people who wanted to take pictures with us and tell us how thankful they were, I felt like a bit of a celebrity, I have never shook so many hands or had my picture taken so many times in all my life.
“It was the first time I’d been back to France since the war, and it brought back so many memories. I must say I’m glad I got through it but I would never wish anyone to go through what I went through.”