Tributes paid as Normandy veteran from Oldham dies at 97

Dougie Farrington who landed in France shortly after D Day Credit: MEN Media

Tributes are being paid to a Second World War Normandy veteran who 'leaves behind an incredible legacy' after his death at the age of 97. 

Dougie Farrington was just 18 when he landed on Gold Beach in France, shortly after D-Day in June, 1944.Eight months later, as the he fought his way into Germany with the rest of his unit, he was shot in the leg by a sniper in the Reichswald Forest.

Separated from the rest of his division, he crawled into a pigsty, where he put on a field dressing and waited to be rescued.

After his death The Royal British Legion have paid tribute to a man they described as a 'bubbly and infectious character'.Dougie, who was from Chadderton in Oldham, was awarded the Legion d'Honneur, the highest French military honour, in recognition of his service to liberate Europe, amongst many other decorations.He died on February 18th after a short illness with his funeral held at Hollinwood Crematorium, with full standard bearers.Speaking in 2019, Dougie said: "My Mum was very unhappy about me signing up, but I knew Hitler was evil, he wanted to make everyone slaves, and I didn't like that. People should be free to do what they want and enjoy life."

Dougie Farrington was just 18 when he landed in Normandy Credit: MEN Media

Dougie served with the seventh battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. His role as a first-class machine gunner earned him an extra three pence per week.

Dougie left the Army in 1947 after serving in Dusseldorf when the war ended.

He met his future wife, Alice, at a dance and they went on to have two daughters, Anne and Fay, and a son, Melvin. Alice died aged 85 after the couple had been married for 66 years.His daughters Anne and Fay said in a statement: "Dad was such a character, he loved life, and he lived life to the full, especially in his later years. He made many good friends both at home and abroad and he will be sadly missed."A collector for Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal for 22 years, tributes have been paid for his contribution.

Stuart Steel, Membership Engagement Officer for the Royal British Legion, said Dougie was a huge supporter of the charity in Oldham.He went on, "He was a bubbly and infectious character, and he leaves behind an incredible legacy. All our thoughts are with Dougie's family and friends."