Home News D-Day hero issues emotional appeal to have dead honoured

D-Day hero issues emotional appeal to have dead honoured


A D-DAY hero battling to have his dead brother’s bravery honoured says he is willing to give up his own medals to win the fight.

Denis Rose was decorated by his own country and given France’s highest honour for his role in the Normandy landings in June 1944.

His older brother Peter was a pilot in the RAF and flew bombing missions to Dresden, but he was only 19 when he was killed while flying above Hungary.

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However, he has been denied the Bomber Command Clasp because he was based in Italy and not the UK during the Second World War.

Now Denis, 92, has slammed the Ministry of Defence’s “silly rules” and says he’s determined his brother should be honoured in the same way as other pilots.

The old sailor from West Kirby, Merseyside, has spent the last year campaigning to get the clasp for his brother.

After joining up Peter saw his family, including two other brothers and another sister, only once on leave before he was sent to train in South Africa. His youngest brother was just one at the time.

After that he was stationed at Foggia in Italy, and flew Wellington Bombers completing around five missions before his death. He is buried in the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Solimar in Budapest.

he Bomber Command clasp was introduced in February 2013, but it is only given to those who flew on missions from the UK and were part of the unit.

Denis, who was awarded The Order of Légion d’Honneur for his own bravery in France, says his brother was loaned out to Italy and still deserves the award.

He said: “This is more important to me than my own medals.

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“I am willing to give up my campaign medals and my Legion of Honour and I mean that. All I want is my brother’s clasp.

“I want to put it on the 1939-45 star medal where it belongs. Peter would have been 93 now. He can’t speak for himself so it is up to me to speak for him.

“Bomber Command lost more than 55,000 men and in my opinion, they were the cream of the nation.”

RAF Bomber Command suffered the highest casualty rate of the British Armed Forces in the Second World War, losing 55,573 of the 125,000 who served.

But after the war many veterans claimed they were forgotten and never honoured due to the unease over the heavy loss of German civilians during key bombing campaigns.

Now Denis has teamed up with ex-pilot, Theo Eaves, 94, who also flew from Italy and is hoping to get the clasp.

“Nobody in the House of Commons or House of Lords is my age. I speak for my brother and Theo Eaves who is a living person,” said Denis.

“None of the persons in both houses were born during the war and what we would like to do is find the bright spark who invented this silly rule.”

Great-grandfather Denis, who served in the Royal Navy, has seven medals including the 1939-45 star, the Atlantic Star and the Burma Star.

According to the MOD, the Bomber Command Clasp is awarded to aircrew who served for at least 60 days and flew at least one operational sortie from a unit based in the UK between 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945.

If an individual did not serve in Bomber Command, they would not be entitled to the clasp.

An MOD spokesperson said: “We fully recognise the debt of gratitude owed to all those who have served their country.

“Every medal and clasp has strict criteria and we carefully consider every request.”

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