With the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I would like to pay tribute to my much-loved father, John Roche, and also to his brothers Patrick and Tom who all played significant roles in defeating the Hitler regime in the Second World War.
John and Patrick came home, but Tom, a trainee pilot in the 9th Army, 6th Airborne Division was wounded in action during the drop to take Pegasus Bridge, and died shortly afterwards. He is buried in Normandy.
Patrick, transferred from Horse to 8th Army Tank Regiment and fought through Africa.
My father John fought long campaigns throughout the war. Key players in Operation Torch, the 2nd Army in North Africa were instrumental in defeating Rommell through Algeria and Tunisia, before John continued fighting his way up through Sicily and Italy to fight the most savage battle of Anzio.
From Northern France he continued the conflict through the Lowlands to liberate Belgium, where he met the love of his life, my mother.
After the war he returned to Ghent and they married before returning to England. They settled in Grantham and are buried together in Harrowby Road cemetery. They had two daughters, Patricia and myself, Deanna.
Our love and gratitude to the three brave Roche brothers from all their extended family.
Deanna de Roche