Bernard goes AWOL
Bernard Jordan was a well-known face in Brighton and Hove, having served twenty three years as a Hove borough councillor, two years as a city councillor, as well as serving as mayor in 1995/96. But he became a national hero and media sensation when he ‘escaped’ from his care home in Hove, to travel to Normandy for D-Day celebrations. He had been unable to get a place on an organised tour, so undeterred he went AWOL and travelled under his own steam, sparking off a police search in the process.
3,000 birthday cards
As they say in novels ‘Alls well that ends well’; Bernard was found and after attending the D-Day ceremony, was escorted home. When news of his escapade became known, the public certainly took Bernard to their hearts; he received 3,000 cards for his 90th birthday which took place days after returning to Hove.
A living legend
At a special ceremony in the Town Hall, Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Brian Fitch, presented Bernard Jordan with a certificate declaring him to be an Honorary Alderman of Brighton and Hove. Councillor Fitch paid tribute to Bernard’s years of service and the honour he brought to the city, describing him as “…the nearest thing to a living legend that our city has”.