Peter Hodge: Tributes paid to Normandy veterans fundraiser

Peter Hodge with his MBE Image copyright Jo Hodge
Image caption Peter Hodge was appointed MBE for his work raising money to support the Normandy veterans

Tributes have been paid to Peter Hodge whose work to raise money for Normandy veterans led to him being made a MBE.

Mr Hodge, 78, died from cancer in the Bristol Royal Infirmary on 23 December, his wife Jo Hodge said.

As the honorary general secretary of the Normandy Veterans Association (NVA) he raised funds to take UK veterans to France for the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

"You couldn't have met anybody with a bigger heart," said Mrs Hodge.

Image copyright Jo Hodge
Image caption Eddie Izzard gave Mr Hodge a cheque for £40,000 and Trevor Beattie gave £30,000

Mr Hodge was the founding member of the Sword Fund, together with David Stokes who also recently died.

The charity was formed to raise funds for veterans of World War Two.

Mr Hodge helped raise thousands to finance events, including a trip to Holland to celebrate its liberation and services in Bristol cathedral.

Paul Turner, of Bristol NVA, said: "Nothing was beyond Peter's ability to arrange, including the Queen's guard band visiting the city at his request for a service in the Bristol cathedral."

As the honorary general secretary of the NVA, Mr Hodge travelled to events around the world laying wreaths and attending commemoration services.

His association with the Normandy veterans happened "by accident" while doing research for a book on shipping, Mrs Hodge said.

"The veterans loved Peter because he raised so much money for them," his wife added.

"He'd love to be remembered with love as part of the NVA and as a man of the river," she said.

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