D-Day hero George dies at 92

George Brewis shares the moment of receiving the Legion D'Honneur with his wife Ann.
George Brewis shares the moment of receiving the Legion D'Honneur with his wife Ann.

A Second World War hero, who received a prestigious medal for his courage on D-Day, has died, aged 92.

George Brewis, from Alnwick, passed away on Tuesday, December 13. He leaves behind a loving family, including wife of more than 60 years, Ann.

George Brewis pictured in 1944.

George Brewis pictured in 1944.

His funeral was held last Thursday at the town’s St Michael’s Church. The service attracted a good turnout and it was a fitting send off for the proud war veteran.

Earlier this year, great-grandfather George was presented with France’s highest military accolade – the Légion d’honneur – at a meeting of the Alnwick branch of The Fusiliers’ Association

The medal recognises the selfless acts of heroism and determination displayed by all surviving British veterans of the Normandy landings, and of the wider campaigns to liberate France from the Nazis in the Second World War.

George, who would have been 93 in January, served with the Army on D-Day and continued in Europe until the war’s end.

After being presented with the honour at Alnwick’s RAFA Club, George said: “This award is fantastic and I am over the moon, although I feel that the medal should have been awarded to those lads who lost their lives on D-Day and in the battle to liberate France.”

While serving with the 3rd British Infantry Division, George landed with one of the earliest waves on Sword Beach on D-Day – June 6, 1944.

His role was that of dispatch rider as a member of the Royal Army Service Corps, but for several weeks he was unable to fulfil his role, because of the limited terrain held.

He was therefore employed on the beach unloading stores from the amphibious landing craft. More specifically, he helped provide an essential stockpile of cans of petroleum.

This petrol dump was attacked by German aircraft and exploded. George was involved in the aftermath and the re-establishing of the dump.

He remained with the 3rd Infantry Division during the assault on Caen and continued his service in Europe until the war finished in 1945.

But this was not the end of George’s Army service.

At the conclusion of the war in Europe, the 3rd Division was posted to Palestine and George was not demobbed until 1947.

In 1948, after returning to Alnwick, he joined the 7th Battalion, The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers (Territorial Army), and served for 11 years, having been promoted to corporal.

He had to leave the TA after an accident sustained while on annual training.

After he was demobbed, George worked for 20 years as a mechanical engineer for the Ministry of Agriculture, before setting up in business as a haulage contractor.

In April 1952, he married Ann. They had a son and a daughter, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.