Rustington Second World War D-Day veteran passes away: ‘He was our hero’

Stanley Northeast, a hero of the Second World War D-Day landings, has been remembered after passing away.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:18 am
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:27 pm

Stanley Northeast, a hero of the D-Day landings from Rustington, has been remembered after passing away.

The 99-year-old was a familiar face around Rustington and Littlehampton and worked at the Evening Argus for many years after the war, printing the latest racing and football results hot off the press.

His son, Arun district councillor Mike Northeast, has paid tribute to his late father.

Stanley Northeast from Littlehampton at the D-Day 75 commemorations in Portsmouth last week, making the 'V for Victory' sign SUS-191106-121158001

“He was a very sociable person who loved meeting and chatting to people,” said Mike.

“Before moving to Rustington he used to stroll down to the Wick village everyday to get his bread and paper also a regular haircut. Everyone he chatted to always said ‘what a lovely man your Dad is’ – he touched all their hearts.”

Stanley moved to a sheltered flat in Rustington and Mike said he took great pride in retaining his independence and cooking his own meals.

He leaves behind three sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

On the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings – the allied invasion of France that turned the tide of the Second World War – Stanley recalled the ‘deafening’ approach to the beaches under fire from German gunners.

He said he remembered wading through the blood-stained sea filled with the bodies of British soldiers, before driving two lorries into Europe to set up communication lines with invading forces.

Mike said his father, like many veterans, did not speak about his experiences in the war until his 90th birthday.

“He always said ‘I’m no hero, it’s the poor blighters that never came home who are the real heroes’,” said Mike. “I was proud to have revisited with him the French beach he landed on as part of the D-Day operation liberating France.

“As the last remaining Northeast of his generation he will be so sadly missed. I will personally miss our trips out, listening to his war time and family memories and his stories of the town’s past.

“He was our hero, miss you mate, rest in peace.”

His funeral, arranged by the Co-op, will be webcast from Worthing Crematorium at 3pm on March 10. He requested no flowers, but donations to the Royal British Legion.

Mike has a number of small wooden poppy crosses on which people can write messages, which he will leave at the Kingley Gate memorial stones in Littlehampton. He can be contacted on 07774 988098.

Stanley helped to open the Kingley Gate memorial in 2019.