Veteran 'escapee' Bernard Jordan honoured by Brighton

  • 17 July 2014
  • From the section Sussex
Media captionBrighton and Hove Mayor Brian Fitch made Bernard Jordan an honorary alderman

A World War Two veteran who disappeared from his nursing home to attend D-Day commemorations in France has been made an honorary alderman of Brighton and Hove.

Bernard Jordan, a former mayor of Hove, was honoured during a special meeting at Brighton Town Hall.

The 90-year-old sparked a police search last month when he left the care home unannounced to join fellow veterans.

He was called "a living legend" by the current mayor at the ceremony.

'Wisdom and warmth'

Brian Fitch said Mr Jordan's "recent exploits delighted the media, entertained the general public, worried his friends at The Pines and completely bemused his family".

"It's his mix of self-effacing bravery and humour, wisdom and warmth, experience and perspective that prompted me to nominate Bernie as honorary alderman," Mr Fitch added.

Image caption Bernard Jordan served in the Royal Navy

Mr Jordan, who lives at The Pines care home in Hove with his wife, disappeared the day before commemorations were due to take place.

Staff at his nursing home had tried to get him on to an accredited tour to Normandy with the Royal British Legion but it had not been possible to arrange.

Undeterred, the former navy officer decided he would go there anyway, sparking a police alert and throwing him into the media spotlight.

Asked why he travelled across to Normandy, Mr Jordan, said: "My thoughts were with my mates who had been killed.

"I was going across to pay my respects. I was a bit off course but I got there."

Brighton and Hove City Council said the honour was in "recognition of eminent past services" to Hove Borough Council.

Mr Jordan was a member of the council for 23 years and served as mayor from 1995 to 1996.

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