Comrades, family and friends to rally for funeral of D-Day veteran and Poppy Appeal stalwart from Baldock

Baldock D-Day veteran Frank Hooton on a Royal British Legion commemorative trip to Arromanches, Norm

Baldock D-Day veteran Frank Hooton on a Royal British Legion commemorative trip to Arromanches, Normandy. - Credit: Archant

The former comrades, family and friends of a D-Day veteran and Poppy Appeal stalwart from Baldock who has died aged 90 are set to rally for his funeral on Monday.

Baldock D-Day veteran Frank Hooton in the Mediterranean during the Second World War.

Baldock D-Day veteran Frank Hooton in the Mediterranean during the Second World War. - Credit: Archant

Frank Hooton, who moved to Baldock from London as a boy, joined the Royal Navy in 1943 and was on one of the landing craft dropping Royal Marines on Sword Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

After being demobbed in 1946, Frank returned to work at Baldock’s Kayser-Bondor stocking factory – now Tesco – where he stayed for 32 years, rising through the ranks to be a director. He married Gwen in 1948, settled in Weston Way and had three children.

After a spell working at Henlow Grange, Frank retired in 1990. He joined the Royal British Legion’s Baldock branch when it re-formed and proudly wore his medals – finally received in the new millennium – on commemorative trips to Normandy.

He keenly took part in the Poppy Appeal outside his old workplace at Tesco each year, even after his eyesight began to fail.

Baldock D-Day veteran Frank Hooton in the Mediterranean during the Second World War.

Baldock D-Day veteran Frank Hooton in the Mediterranean during the Second World War. - Credit: Archant


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“Frank was a quiet but enthusiastic member of the Legion,” a Poppy Appeal spokesman said.

“No matter what the weather, or how he felt, he was always determined to help with collecting. He and his good friend Eric Woodward were known as the ‘Blues Brothers’.”

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A spokesman for the Orange Tree pub called Frank ‘a true hero who gave more than most of us ever will’.

Frank’s funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church at 2pm on Monday, with a private crematorium service to follow. The congregation are invited to the Orange Tree.

Flowers are requested from family only. Donations in lieu should be made to the RBL’s Poppy Appeal.

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