Trip down memory lane for veteran Bill

William (Bill) Cutler from Leeds gets a kiss from Sharon  D'Ambrosio (left) and Christine Robinson-Perkins
William (Bill) Cutler from Leeds gets a kiss from Sharon D'Ambrosio (left) and Christine Robinson-Perkins
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It was certainly a day to remember for Leeds D-Day veteran William Cutler.

Neighbours and friends of the 96-year-old donned forties style clothing and danced the afternoon away at a special 1940s themed tea party.

The Cottingley community decided to throw the special celebration to honour Mr Cutler after he was recognised by the French government as one of the brave men who fought the Nazis in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Mr Cutler, who is also known locally as Bill, served as an able seaman with the Royal Navy during the D-Day landings - the largest naval, air and land operation in history.

He was one of just 12 survivors given France’s highest honour, the Légion d’Honneur, by the French Defence Attaché to the UK Contre Amiral Patrick Chevallereau at The Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum at York.

Members of the community gathered at Cottingley Community Health Centre this weekend to show their appreciation for Mr Cutler.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post earlier Christine Robinson-Perkins,community development manager at the centre, said they wanted to honour his recognition.

She said: “He’s such a humble man, he would never brag about it. I just think there are people that do amazing things and live a normal life and they don’t want for much.”

All money raised from the event will be donated to St Gemma’s Hospice at Mr Cutler’s request.

Castleton Mills in Armley, Leeds, which has undergone a transformation. 
Picture by Simon Hulme

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