The final salute of a much loved and respected war veteran, Norman Bryant

History / Wed 7th Jun 2023 at 07:59am

AS we marked the 79th anniversary of D Day on Tuesday June 6th, we thought this would be an appropriate moment to pay our respects to World War Two veteran Norman Bryant, who passed away recently aged 98.

Since Your Harlow started in 2013, we have always gone down to the Netteswell Cross on Remembrance Sunday to film the remembrance service.

We would see Norman resplendent in his blazer and beret.

This editor knew Mr Bryant as he grew up in Great Brays, two doors down. Every day, Mr Bryant, would always look so smart. Such bearing and such discipline. There was always a quiet dignity with Mr Bryant.

But as the years passed at Remembrance Sunday, Norman became increasingly frail. But nothing was going to stop him paying his respects.

In the last few years, he was aided by his devoted son Jim, as he made his way by wheelchair.

In 2022, Norman paid his respects for the last time but if you watch the 39 second film below, there is a steely determination to rise out of that wheelchair and, unaided for a second, salute and pay his respects to the fallen.

Who knows who Norman was thinking of? There will have been individuals as well as every person who gave their life for their country.

And in many ways, one of the main reason that the children of Great Brays could enjoy the freedom to play out, go over the field, go to schools and enjoy the warm summers or indeed go on to be journalists, was because brave brave men like Norman Bryant, heeded the call and served their country.

This may only be a 39 second film but Norman Bryant has given all of us our freedom for our lifetime.

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1 Comment for The final salute of a much loved and respected war veteran, Norman Bryant:

Michael Hardware
2023-06-07 10:49:33

I lived next door to Norman for 11 years. Such a gentleman and a wicked sense of humour, and full of interesting stories. We do owe a huge debt of gratitude to that generation, something our younger generation need to understand.

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