The passing of Jack Quinn

We are so saddened to learn of the death of D-Day Veteran and Memorial Ambassador Jack Quinn, who passed away on Saturday 27 January aged 99. Jack was a valued and much loved supporter of the Memorial project and last visited Normandy for D-Day 79, where he was officially appointed as Ambassador by Chairman of Trustees, Lord Dannatt.

Jack was committed to the remembrance of  his fallen comrades and was passionate about sharing his story with younger generations. He was a huge advcocate for the second phase of the Memorial project – the Education Centre – and said of it “An Education Centre is very important…it should never be forgotten.”

Last year, he also spoke of the forthcoming 80th anniversary, stating:

“As Normandy Veteran Ambassador for the British Normandy Memorial, and having visited the Memorial several times, I am delighted that we will finally be able to remember all our fallen comrades of the Normandy Campaign in this very unique and poignant setting for the first time on a major D-Day anniversary.”

Jack’s D-Day Story

Jack Quinn CDG Leg d’Hon was Coxwain of a landing craft and crept in to the Normandy shore under cover of darkness on the night of 5th June. His job was to take in frogmen who were to blow up the mines on the beach obstacles. This was timed to be at the same time as HMS Belfast opened fire. He was then tasked to run into the beach at Arromanches and pick up a man and a woman. As he beached the landing craft the Resistance ran down the beach with the man and woman and boarded the craft.

He pulled off the beach and took them to a hospital ship. For this action he was mentioned in dispatches. At 11.00 he saw a boat on fire in amongst sea mines and drew the attention of his Major. He was told to ignore it as there was plenty to do. He disobeyed this instruction and went to the boat, rescuing the crew, who were French. As he pulled away the boat blew up. He took the crew to the hospital ship.

For this action he was awarded the Croix de Guerre Silver Star. Later on he helped get the Mulberry Harbour back in place after the storm. He was then returned to Poole for retraining as Poole Harbour is identical to the harbour on Guernsey. He was then deployed to Guernsey and was the first boat to arrive on the island for the liberation of Guernsey. He has now been awarded the Freedom of Guernsey and recently attended a ceremony on the island to formalise his Freedom.


We send our deepest condolences to Jack’s family and friends. Rest in Peace, Jack.



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