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Bernard Jordan, D-Day Veteran Who Made Great Escape From Care Home, Returns To UK After 'First Class Show' In Normandy

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A 90-year-old war veteran found in Normandy after being reported missing from his care home in England said he made the journey to see the "first class show" - and plans to do it again next year.

Bernard Jordan was reported missing on Thursday night by staff at The Pines care home in Hove, Sussex, after embarking on his cross-channel trip for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

READ MORE: D-Day Landing Sites Then And Now: 11 Striking Images That Bring The Past And Present Together

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The former Royal Navy officer told ITV that he hoped he would not be in trouble when he returned.

He told the broadcaster: "Because I wanted to go to this show here that was on today, that was the main reason I came over here.

"It's a first class show because I have been here last year and I have been here obviously this time and I'm going to - touch wood I'm still with us - and I will be 91 then, but if I am still about I shall try next year's as well."

Asked if he would be in trouble with the care home he added: "I might be, but I hope not."

Mr Jordan, a former mayor of Hove, left The Pines on Thursday morning wearing a grey mac and a jacket underneath with his war medals on, Sussex Police said.

Officers began searching the area, including checking hospitals in case something had happened to him, and spoke to bus and taxi companies, but none of them knew where he was.

The nursing home received a phone call from a younger veteran from Brighton at 10.30pm who said he had met Mr Jordan on a coach on the way to France and that they were safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham.

Brittany Ferries said Mr Jordan was returning to the UK last night and it had laid on a cabin, meals and a car back to the Pines.

Ship's liaison officer Sonia Pittam, who met Mr Jordan on his outward journey to France, said: "I knew he was a game old boy.

"He certainly has his wits about him, he didn't say much about the landings, just how pleased he was to be on board and couldn't believe how everyone was looking after them (veterans) and all the people waving on the route to the harbour entrance.

"He kept saying, 'All this for us'."

Mr Jordan arrived safely back at the home this morning.

Peter Curtis, chief executive of Gracewell Healthcare, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He is back safely. The first thing he did was tuck in to an English breakfast and he was on excellent form.

"I think he was completely taken aback by the scale the story has taken on but he was on fine form."

Describing him as "quite a character", Mr Curtis added: "His wife is also with us at the home and when we told her where he was she just immediately said 'well I'm not surprised'."

The home got a call on Thursday night at 10.30pm from one of the new friends he made on the ferry to France, Mr Curtis said.

Mr Jordan had met some veterans from Brighton who were on a official tour party, who took him under their wing, and one of the officials gave the home a call to say where he was.
Susan Knowles, Mr Jordan's niece, told Sky News that her uncle had a history of visiting events he wasn't expected at.

She said: "Last time I saw him would be at a family funeral that he made his way down to again, and we were all quite amazed that he'd made his way to Bournemouth to this family funeral, on the train, on his own.

"He sort of just came walking up and we were quite surprised to see him there, because of his age and that, we didn't expect him to be there.

"If he's determined to do something he will."

The Gracewell Healthcare blog says Mr Jordan has lived in Hove his "whole life" and has lived at The Pines since January, adding: "He served in the Second World War in the Royal Navy and upon returning married his sweetheart, Irene, and began his professional calling.

"Bernard looks back on his career modestly and believed he was very fortunate to serve his community."

Mr Jordan told the blog: "I was able to take my chance, serve the people of my town and do a job I loved. I am very proud of what I was able to do.

A spokesman for the home said it was "definitely not the case" that the veteran was banned from attending the D-Day commemorations.

"At Gracewell Healthcare we celebrate the individuality of our residents' lives and are in awe of the part Mr Jordan played in the D-Day invasion 70 years ago."

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READ MORE: D-Day Commemorations: Live Pictures, Tweets And Stories As The World Remembers The Sacrifice

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