D Day veteran Harold Addie has never lost his spirit of adventure since his days as a sailor.
He was lucky to survive the Normandy landings after his ship carrying tanks and soldiers struck a mine leaving him stranded for four days at Juno Beach near the town of Bernières, before being towed to safety.
As a Navy wireman, Harold was responsible for the ship’s electrical equipment and watched helplessly on deck as Canadian troops were killed by machine gun fire as they attacked the enemy.
Anyone who thinks Harold, aged 88, might now prefer the quiet life would be mistaken. Earlier this year he abseiled down the North Stand at Old Trafford football ground in aid of Francis House where he volunteers in the kitchen and on reception.
Three years ago he walked from the west coast of Wales to the east coast of England, covering 670 miles on national trails with his Jack Russell dog Snowy. Harold, wrote a book called ‘Don’t Forget The Dog’ about their adventures, raising £5,000 for Francis House. He still walks and swims regularly and is planning another marathon trek for his 90th birthday.
“If I’m fit enough I’ll do something. I’ve had an eventful life but I’ve enjoyed every minute,” said Harold. “Francis House has been like a second home to me. There’s a family atmosphere and I look forward to going there. The hospice has made a big difference to my approach to life.”