D-Day hero dies aged 97
PUBLISHED: 10:36 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:45 27 November 2019
One of Norfolk’s last remaining D-Day veterans has passed away at the age of 97.
Reg Webb was wounded after landing in Normandy in June 1944, as Allied troops stormed into France and the low countries from the beachheads.
The 22-year-old soldier in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, who came from Middlesex, was hit by machine gun fire in Holland as his regiment went to the rescue of more than 1,000 paratroopers pinned down at the River Rhine during the Arnhem offensive.
He was flown back to England to receive medical care at St Bartholomew's Hospital. The bullets had camaged the sciatic nerve in his right leg, which had to be amputated below the knee.
Following rehabilitation at Roehampton Hospital, where he was fitted with a prosthetic leg, Mr Webb found work at the Ministry of Defence as a civil servant. He worked as a clerical officer, assisting the service directors, before transferring to the Royal Armoured Corps Record Office, then the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, and working in the Army Recruitment Office in Finchley until his retirement.
His later years were spent in Hunstanton, where he underwent a spell of being housebound in his bungalow because of problems with his artificial leg.
He was then supported by the charity Blesma, which supports limb loss veterans, which helped him obtain a modernised leg which helped him walk more comfortably.
Blesma support officers took him for afternoon tea at Sandringham House, to ease his worries about leaving his house with his new prosthetic leg.
In the following weeks, he grew confident enough for a family meal in a restaurant to celebrate his 97th birthday. He had regained his belief he would be safe outside his home after years of being housebound.
Last month, Mr Webb received his Legion d'Honneur from Lord Dannatt, former head of the army, at a special ceremony arranged by Blesma at Kings Lynn Town Hall.
Mr Webb, who passed away on November 11, leaves a daughter, Gwyneth, son-in-law, Dennis, two grand-children and four great grand-children.
His funeral is being held on Friday, November 29 at St Edmund's Church, Hunstanton (1.30pm).
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