Inquest into death of D-day hero Fred Buckle opens
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A D-Day war hero, who received the French government’s highest honour for bravery, died after becoming ill following a fall at his home, an inquest heard.
Lifelong Elmswell resident Frederick Buckle died at the age of 96 after his condition deteriorated after the fall in June.
The Navy veteran had been taken to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, where it was discovered he had suffered a spinal fracture.
After beginning community palliative care near his home in Elmswell, Mr Buckle's condition deteriorated and he died on June 20, 2019.
Area coroner Jacqueline Devonish opened and adjourned an inquest into his death at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich. It will continue on December 9, 2019.
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It was in recent years that Mr Buckle was officially recognised for his bravery in France in 1944 when he received the Legion d'honneur, the highest French order of merit for military personnel.
In his younger years, the war hero had served his country overseas before returning to his Suffolk home.
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Mr Buckle's career in the armed forces started when he joined the Royal Navy in 1941 as an 18-year-old. He was later part of the second wave of soldiers who landed in Normandy during D-Day.
After helping secure the beach, he and others stayed there for a month, under constant threat.
The Navy vet survived and returned to the UK, where he was taken to hospital with tonsillitis.
After returning to the Navy, he was posted to India and then to Burma and Malaya after he had been promoted to Leading Signalman. He also served in the Home Guard in Elmswell.
After the war Mr Buckle returned to Elmswell where he worked as an agricultural engineer and served as a firefighter from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Mr Buckle married in 1947 and has two children, Teresa and Michael, and four grandchildren.
He also received a gallantry award after he saved a four-year-old girl from drowning in a river near Ely, pulling her out of the water and holding her upside down until she coughed and started to breath again.