Guard of honour for D-Day hero Denis Cruse

The funeral of Denis Cruse, Para, of Buckingham, with a Para and RBL Riders guard of honour. The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham. Friday 10th Feb 2017. PNL-171002-141725009
The funeral of Denis Cruse, Para, of Buckingham, with a Para and RBL Riders guard of honour. The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham. Friday 10th Feb 2017. PNL-171002-141725009
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An Ex Rifle Brigade soldier who won the The Légion d’Honneur for bravery after landing at Normandy on D-Day was given a moving guard of honour at his funeral service this week.

Denis Cruse passed away at home on Sunday, January 22

The funeral of Denis Cruse, Para, of Buckingham, with a Para and RBL Riders guard of honour. The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham. Friday 10th Feb 2017. PNL-171002-142529009

The funeral of Denis Cruse, Para, of Buckingham, with a Para and RBL Riders guard of honour. The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham. Friday 10th Feb 2017. PNL-171002-142529009

aged 90.

He served with the armed forces in the Second World War, playing a role in the taking of Pegasus Bridge with 3rd Parachute Brigade.

On D-Day, Colin landed at Normandy to install bridges which the allied forces could then launch attacks on German fortifications.

It has been seen as one of the instrumental battles that took place in the Second World War.

The funeral of Denis Cruse, Para, of Buckingham, with a Para and RBL Riders guard of honour. The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham. Friday 10th Feb 2017. PNL-171002-142419009

The funeral of Denis Cruse, Para, of Buckingham, with a Para and RBL Riders guard of honour. The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham. Friday 10th Feb 2017. PNL-171002-142419009

The Légion d’Honneur award was established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte.

It is France’s highest distinction and is awarded in recognition of both military and civilian merit.

On average, just 10 British nationals per year receive the Légion d’Honneur.

Denis Cruse joined the army when he was just 15, to escape the poverty he experienced in his native Harrogate.

His son said Denis, who lived in Buckingham, had described vivid memories of depression and poverty in his home county of Yorkshire when World War Two broke out in 1939.

“Prospects for young men at that time were pretty grim,” Colin Cruse said.

“When he was 15, he lied about his age.

“He saw his way of improving his life by getting out of Harrogate and joining the army.”

His funeral took place at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, in Buckingham, where Army Cadets lined the streets and a bugler played the last post.

Do you have any memories of Denis Cruse?

Perhaps you know someone who also served during the taking of Pegasus Bridge, or in World War Two.

We’d love to hear from you.

Get in touch at:editorial.buckinghamadvertiser.co.uk