Today we remember the life of one of our residents here at Care for Veterans, Peter Hawkins, who sadly passed away last week.
Peter was a World War II veteran who took part in the D-Day Landings. In 2020, at the age of 94, he helped raise over £11,000 for the charity by taking part in a cycle challenge that recreated the 104-mile distance of his original journey between Portsmouth and Gold Beach using a static bike.
Originally from Worthing, Peter was 18 years old in April 1943 when he was called up for Army Service. A year later, he was posted to the Royal Tank Regiment at Deepcut Barracks and then was posted to France as a crew member in one of the tanks. He survived through Normandy and throughout France, then went forward as the movement travelled through Belgium, Holland and finished up in Germany, where he was when the war ended. He spent another two years in Germany before he was demobilised in 1947. He was recently awarded a belated ‘Legion of Honour’ by former President Francois Hollande, for “recognition of military service for the liberation of France”.
Peter came to live at Care for Veterans in January 2018. Since then, he has provided great company to both staff and residents and has been a source of inspiration for many of us. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Andy Neaves, CEO at Care for Veterans, added: “From the time of his arrival Peter became an active member of the Home. He was a quiet and somewhat shy man and an avid reader of the newspapers in the day room and welcomed the opportunity to discuss current affairs. His achievement of cycling the equivalent distance from Portsmouth to Gold Beach is a reflection of his determined character. He will be missed by many, both residents and staff, at the Home.”