Search for veteran’s beret

reward offered for return of George Harris's beret - his son Tony is searching for the beret belong to his D Day soldier dad
reward offered for return of George Harris's beret - his son Tony is searching for the beret belong to his D Day soldier dad

A reward is being offered for a precious D-day veteran’s beret which lost in Cooden or Little Common.

George Harris was a 28 year old sergeant who stormed up the Normandy beaches in the first wave of the invasion on June 6 1944.

Now his son Tony keeps the old soldier’s memory alive doing talks all over East Sussex while wearing his father’s immaculately kept battledress.

But on November 18 after a talk at the Cooden Beach Hotel Tony mislaid his father’s precious headgear - and he is desperate to get it back.

Tony said: “It’s a standard issue service issue black beret with a Royal Engineers cap badge and it will be worth very little to anyone else.

But to me it means the world. My dad wore the beret throughout his 23 year military career, retiring as a segeant major, and it is part of his kit I wear when I tell his story.”

Tony, of Laton Road in Hastings, is a full time entertainer who makes a living usually impersonating King Henry VIII. He is offering a £50 reward for the safe return of the beret.

“My dad died four years ago aged 94 and I love keeping his memory alive. I have tried Twitter and Facebook to get the beret back but have drawn a blank. Turning to the good old local newspaper for help is something my dad would have approved of.”

George Harris was a bridge builder in Scotland when war was declared and joined up immediately with his two brothers.

In 1940 he was stationed at the garrison on Iceland and was disappointed not to join the expeditionary force which was unceremoniously driven out of mainland Europe through Dunkirk. But his chance was to come. After two years training in southern England he was ready to take part in the largest invasion the world had ever seen.

His first objective was to take Sword Beach on the left flank of the Normandy landings and went ashore with his platoon in a landing craft.

But disaster was moments away - the young naval subaltern commanding the craft stopped it too far off the beach, and when the ramp went down the first four men off drowned.

George thumped the officer, took control and rammed it up the beach.

He could have been court martialled for striking an officer but instead was mentioned in dispaches. 07702 306670