Birmingham & Black Country

Appeal for West Bromwich D-Day veteran's friends and family

Mr Mills prior to his death Image copyright Sandwell Council/Lyndon Hall
Image caption George Mills was wounded in action supporting Canadian troops in Operation Totalize

A council is appealing for anyone who knew a D-Day veteran to come forward to mark the scattering of his ashes.

George William Ambrose Mills was one of the first men ashore on Sword Beach on D-Day as a combat driver in the Royal Engineers and lost an eye during Operation Totalize in Normandy.

He died in a West Bromwich care home in 2011 and it has since kept his ashes in the hope a relative would claim them.

He will be put to rest with the respect he deserves, Sandwell Council said.

Lyndon Hall care home manager, Terri Brindley, said staff wanted to "honour" him and "identify an appropriate place to scatter his ashes".

Explaining the delay in laying Mr Mills to rest, a spokesman said the home had "exhausted" its traditional methods of trying to find his relatives.

Mr Mills was born in Bridgend in 1923. He was part of the first wave of landings on 6 June 1944 as a member of the 79th Armoured Division Royal Engineers.

"I don't think we can begin to imagine what it was like to be at the spearhead of the invasion," Frank Caldwell of Sandwell Council's museums service said.

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After being wounded Mr Mills was evacuated to the Black Country.

He married Gladys Mary Wood in 1945 and settled in Tipton, working as a postman.

Following his wife's death in 1982, Mr Mills remained in the area until he went to live at the care home.

Mr Caldwell added: "We'd hope some relatives might be able to attend a ceremony where we finally lay George to rest with the honour and respect that this old soldier deserves."

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