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‘Do your duty – sit on the couch’

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JERSEY D-Day veteran Harry Fenn has been praised on national television after recording a video urging people to stay at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

D-Day veteran Harry Fenn appeals for people to stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak (27681559)

The 95-year-old has won hearts across the nation since posting the message in which he states: ‘In 1944 I served my country and did my duty. Now it’s your duty to sit on the couch. Please save lives, it’s as simple as that.’

The video has been watched thousands of times and was yesterday played to hundreds of thousands of viewers on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Host Piers Morgan, who has repeatedly urged people to observe social distancing and has ridiculed those who are ignoring the advice, said Mr Fenn had delivered a clear and concise message at a time of confusion.

He told viewers: ‘In a world of mixed messages from our government – literally every hour – that simple statement from that hero who served his country on D-Day and lost so many of his friends and comrades who died that day – if that doesn’t get you to stay at home, I don’t know what will. You can’t be helped.

‘Harry saved this country from the Nazis, that was his sacrifice, that’s what he had to do. He’s asked you to stay at home and watch TV. Do you get it?’

Of the four surviving local Normandy campaign veterans, only Mr Fenn saw action on D-Day, 6 June 1944, serving as a 19-year-old Royal Navy medic on a vessel offshore as the hell of battle raged around him.

As the nation marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day last summer, Mr Fenn recalled the first day of the Battle of Normandy, saying: ‘It was murder out there. It was horrible. There was just a mass of boats in the water, cruisers out to sea firing shells over us, and noise everywhere. There wasn’t time to be frightened.’

Mr Fenn, along with Normandy campaign veterans Bill Reynolds, Ernest Thorne and Richard Wraight, were last year presented with the Bailiff’s Bronze Medal to mark their special contribution to the invasion, which marked a turning point in the Second World War.

Richard Heath

By Richard Heath
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