‘Happy-go-lucky’ D-Day hero dies in hospital after short illness
Tributes have been paid to a “happy-go-lucky” Second World War veteran from Ipswich after he died following a short illness.
The family of Harold ‘Dick’ Farrow, who was 96, said the D-Day hero “touched the lives of everyone he met”.
Youngest son Mark, 54, said Harold was a grandfather of 15 and a great-grandfather to 19, adding: “He was happy-go-lucky, a lot of people knew him by ‘Dick’ or ‘H’.
“Everybody loved him – everybody he met, he touched their lives in a positive way.
“We’re all so very proud of him.”
Awarded France’s highest honour – the Légion d’Honneur – in 2016 for his bravery, Harold was born in Felixstowe in 1924 and joined the Army aged 18 in 1942.
He was transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment in 1943 and served in Britain in preparation for D-Day.
He set sail for France on June 3, 1944 where he landed on D-Day itself on June 6.
Harold survived many scrapes when under fire from the German Army – but came through unscathed.
He was promoted to Lance Corporal and was part of the Bren Gun Carriers – whose job it was to push on ahead and make contact with the enemy, giving fire support to the infantry.
Discharged from the Army in 1947, he enjoyed the comradeship so much he returned to the Territorial Army and served until 1953.
Passionate about athletics, Harold enjoyed long-distance running and took part in boxing for his company – winning a lot of medals.
His younger years were spent in Ramsey and Dovercourt, near Harwich, and he was the second oldest of six children – he had two brothers and three sisters.
A father of five boys – Kevin, 66, Stephen, 65, Rod, 63, Nigel, 59 and Mark, 54 – he had 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
He married Jill Dale in December 1952 – and the couple celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary last year.
“I’m in my 50s now but a lot of my friends in my teenage years loved him and called him ‘H’ for Harold,” Mark added.
“There have been a lot of nice messages calling him by his nicknames when he passed away.
“He loved having a little bet on the horses, loved his athletics and watching it in his later years.
“During his time in Mayo Court in Ipswich he was well-respected by his fellow residents, was always willing to help them out, he would tend to a vegetable plot and his greenhouse and share everything he produced.
“Although he was 10 to 15 years older than some of the ladies in the home he used to get their papers for them, he was always helping them out.”
Harold, who developed an infection in January this year, underwent three operations in seven days in March.
His family said he fought hard but passed away from heart failure at Colchester Hospital on March 31.
Harold’s funeral is due to take place on Monday, April 20, and it will be an intimate ceremony due to coronavirus restrictions.
However, the family plan to celebrate the 96-year-old’s life when lockdown is lifted.
Mark added: “When all of this is over, later on in the year hopefully we’re going to have a memorial – probably at Mayo Court – they’ve got a big lounge there where we can celebrate his life and all the grandchildren and family and friends can come and say goodbye.”
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