Shropshire Star

D-Day veteran and 'absolute gentleman' Les Stocking dies at 97

A Shrewsbury veteran who was part of the D-Day landings has died at the age of 97.

Les Stocking.

Les Stocking, who was born in India but spent nearly his entire life in the Harlescott area of Shrewsbury, was awarded the Legion d’Honneur – the highest decoration in France, for his service in the Second World War.

Mr Stocking, who died in Manchester on August 31, had been living at the Broughton House Veteran Care Village for the last six months to be closer to his only daughter, Tracey, and grandson Dylan.

His funeral will take place at 3.30pm on Friday at Shrewsbury Crematorium, followed by a wake at Harlescott Social Club at 4.30pm.

Les Stocking proudly showing off his Legion d'Honneur at his home in Shrewsbury.

Mr Stocking had been married to his wife Mary, who died 14 years ago. He joined the Royal Engineers in 1942 as an 18-year-old – needing his father's permission to sign up.

He had been scheduled to arrive in Normandy after the first wave, but the delay to the landings meant they were part of the force which landed on June 6, 1944. He helped to clear mines in France, Holland and Germany during the allied assault, and fought all the way to Osnabruck in Germany.

Mr Stocking, who was chairman of Shropshire Normandy Veterans Association, and worked at Shrewsbury Regimental Museum after retiring up until the age of 90, visited Paris in 2009 to receive the Legion d’Honneur.

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