John Eastbury: Normandy D-Day veteran

Second World War D-Day Veteran John Eastbury Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Second World War D-Day Veteran John Eastbury Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Normandy veteran, well-known Cromer businessman and golfer, John Eastbury, has died aged 95.

John Eastbury in his army uniform and his brother Peter in his navy uniform. Picture by Susan Eacock

John Eastbury in his army uniform and his brother Peter in his navy uniform. Picture by Susan Eacock. - Credit: Archant

The former Royal Engineer landed and fought at Dunkirk before being sent to Arromanches, Normandy, the day after D Day in June 1944.

Originally from Worcester, he moved to Cromer in 1963 with his late wife Jean. His niece, Susan Eacock, 67 from Redditch near Worcester, said: 'He loved Cromer and joined everything he could, he was always talking about it when he visited.'

Since the war he has given many talks about the war, often going back to Normandy to talk about D-Day. On his visits he was accompanied by his partner of 20 years Daphne Smith, 78, from Cromer, she said: 'He spoke about the war a lot, he didn't like to speak about the bad parts but always had funny stories to tell.

'We visited many places together, he had a wicked sense of humour.'


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In February 1965 he joined the Royal Cromer Golf Club and was a member for 51 years as a member of the senior veteran section, where he would also attend the social lunches.

Assistant secretary manager for the club, Moira Ratcliffe, said: 'He was a very colourful character, always telling his anecdotes and jokes at the Sunday lunches with the veterans.

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'He is a well known member of the community and is remembered with affection.'

A keen writer, John had several letters published in the EDP and North Norfolk News. Susan said: 'He would read the stories about Cromer and if he didn't agree with them he would write in letters and have them published.

'We would receive cuttings of his published letters all the time, I still have many of them.'

He was also managing director of Rust's Wine in Cromer where he would produce and source wine and sell it to many local hotels and bars.

Susan said: 'John was a lovable and sweet man with a twinkle in his eye and we will miss him dearly. He is now reunited with his beautiful wife Jean, his parents, elder sister Irene and brother Peter.'

A service will be held at St. Martins Church, Suffield Park, Cromer on Friday, October 30 at 12 noon, followed by a committal at St. Faith's Crematorium, Norwich at 2pm.

Donations to Help The Heroes, via Fox's Funeral Service, 10 Canada Road, Cromer, NR27 9AH.

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