Death of last Dunkirk soldier
THE last Exeter survivor of the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation in the Second World War, John Ellison, has died, aged 100.
Mr Ellison was one of the lucky ones in the evacuation of 338,000 troops in Operation Dynamo by Royal Navy ships and a fleet of privately-owned boats.
As a bombardier in the Royal Artillery, Mr Ellison spent a night on the beach during the evacuations between May 26 and June 4, not knowing whether he would survive the German barrage and getting strafed from fighter planes.
He returned to France four years later storming the Normandy beaches on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
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He was a member of Exeter's branch of the Normandy Veterans' Association which disbanded in 2011 due to dwindling membership.