Normandy veteran is given a send-off fit for a hero at his funeral in Preston

Military and civic top brass turned out to honour a Normandy veteran at his funeral in Preston.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 12:30 pm

Major Philip Kenyon was given a send off fit for a hero with a piper, bugler and standard bearers at the city's crematorium.

Preston Mayor Coun Javed Iqbal, a fellow Royal Engineers veteran, was also there to pay his respects.

The much-decorated 97-year-old spent a lifetime in the Army, from signing up as a teenager in 1943 to leaving as a Major in 1977 - returning as a retired officer to help run transport and movements at Fulwood Barracks for the next 10 years.

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A piper leads the funeral cortege of Major Philip Kenyon.

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Speaking at the funeral service Colonel David Waters, also retired from the Royal Engineers, described Major Kenyon, who stood just over 5ft tall, as "one small soldier, one giant of a man."

"We are here today to honour a military man whose generation found themselves in remarkable circumstances and, as one of the few remaining, we are not just saying our goodbyes to an individual, but to an emblem of an era," said the president of the Preston and District Veterans’ Council.

Major Kenyon joined up as an 18-year-old Sapper and within a year found himself driving a 15cwt Bedford truck on Omaha Beach as part of the D-Day landings.

Major Philip Kenyon was given a hero's send-off.

He was one of only four Royal Engineers attached to the First US Army as they tried to open up the port of Cherbourg.

After the end of the war he married a French woman Jeannine Brisse and the couple finally made it back to England in 1948. He decided to stay in the Army and, with his wife and two daughters, he travelled the world, serving in places like Malaya, India, Hong Kong and what is now Ghana.

So highly was he thought of that he was commissioned in 1965 into the Royal Corps of Transport on the recommendation of the General commanding troops in the North West.

After retirement and a decade of extra duties at Fulwood Barracks he remained in Preston and was an active member of the Preston branch of the Royal Engineers Association.

Military standards are lowered as the cortege arrives at the crematorium.

Among his collection of medals was the Legion d'Honneur, presented by the people of France for "acts of utmost bravery."