THE funeral of a man who is believed to be Barnsley’s last surviving veteran of the Normandy landings takes place today.

Hubert Miller – known as Bert – died on Christmas Eve at the age of 99.

Bert, from Royston, served behind enemy lines at the D-Day landing at Normandy when he was only 18 years old.

The hero’s bravery and commitment during the liberation of France earned him the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2016 – the highest French order of merit.

At the time, he said of that day: “We moved on through enemy lines and reached Holland but I had a setback as we hit two land mines that flipped our Jeep over.

“I awoke to blackness thinking I was dead, but I saw a brief light so although I was trapped I wriggled free and headed over unknown ground with no weapons or ammunition to try to get help.

“I travelled about a mile-and-a-half, luckily found help and we went back to rescue the driver as he needed urgent medical attention.

“I escaped being wounded and I continued our offensive the following day towards Germany, carrying out my duty for our country.”

He died on Christmas Eve, after surviving not only the war, but also an later-life scare two years ago.

“In 2022, we were told he only had a few weeks left and was put onto end of life care,” his son Ian said.

“But being as he was, he just turned around and said ‘I’m not going anywhere yet’.

“After ten months he was let out again – he was always a character.

“Even in the hospital he would put on different hats and try to dress smart.”

Bert never fully recovered though, and after his 99th birthday on November 10 he felt too frail to attend the Remembrance Sunday services as he always used to.

“He said to me ‘I’m knackered now, I could do with a long sleep’,” Ian added.

“On Saturday December 23 he was taken to hospital.

“I went to visit and stayed with him but obviously he never came out.

“He was a great man and achieved so much as both a hardened Yorkshire and Barnsley man.”

Bert will be honoured at his funeral today, at 12.50pm in Barnsley Crematorium, Ardsley, where there will be a bugler, REME flag bearer and support from the Royal British Legion.

Ian has said that anyone wishing to pay their respects would be most welcome to attend.

Coun Joe Hayward, armed forces champion for Barnsley Council, added: “He’s a hero.

“I met him a few years ago at the anniversary for the Normandy landing.

“He was a great guy, everyone around admired him.

“He definitely left an impression on me – we’ve got a lot to thank him for.”