TRIBUTES have been paid to a Dunkirk and Normandy veteran who has died at the age of 94.
Norman Grieveson, from Seaham, was born in 1919 and fought for his country in the Second World War.
Fighting with the British Expeditionary Force who were helping French and Belgian forces, he was evacuated from Dunkirk after the German Army cut off the Allies. He spent the rest of the conflict on coastal defences, protecting the country’s borders.
Mr Grieveson was later involved in the Normany Landings, when hundreds of thousands of British, US and Canadian troops stormed the French coast.
In peacetime, he worked as a barber before retiring.
In later years he became a stalwart of the Seaham branch of the Royal British Legion.
In February 2009 he accompanied a group of sea cadets from Dawdon on trips to Dunkirk thanks a £5,000 grant from the Lottery.
Sea cadets on the trip got to hear how the Royal Navy evacuated thousands of troops from the beaches of Dunkirk during the Second World War.
As part of the five-day guided trip, the eight cadets saw where the famous rescue took place.
Friend and former secretary of the Seaham Branch of the Royal British Legion, Derek Bland, who was on the trip with Mr Grieveson four years ago, today spoke of his sadness at his death.
“He really enjoyed going back there even though it was very emotional for him,” said Mr Bland, 82, who served in the Royal Artillery.
“He laid a wreath on behalf of the Dunkirk survivors and I know that made him proud.
“Norman was a real stalwart of our branch.”
Mr Grieveson was also good pals with another Second World War veteran, Frank Whyman, also of Seaham.
Earlier this month Mr Whyman journeyed to the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Germany and laid a wreath on the spot where his only brother, Arthur Vaux Harrison Whyman, was laid to rest.
“Norman used to tell me some great stories about when he was in the coastal defences and how far he would cycle each day,” added Mr Bland.
“It was amazing.”
Mr Grieveson leaves a wife, Olive, who turns 100 next month.
Mr Grieveson’s funeral takes place at Seaham Christ Church at 1.15pm on Monday before a service at Sunderland Crematorium at 2pm.