Naga Munchetty heartbroken as BBC star pays tribute to hero after tragic death

Naga Munchetty heartbroken as BBC star pays tribute to hero after tragic death

04/05/2022

Naga Munchetty has taken to social media, sharing her heartbreak over the news Harry Billinge had passed away.

The D-Day veteran died aged 96, after a "short illness", his devastated family confirmed in a statement, two years after Mr Billinge appeared on BBC Breakfast.

Confirming the death of Horace 'Harry' Billinge, his daughter Sally Billinge-Shandley said: "The passion he had for all the veterans that lost their lives was unwavering.

"He dedicated his life to making sure that was never forgotten, that's how he'll be remembered."

Harry was just 18 when he was sapper attached to the 44 Royal Engineer Commandos before the Normandy landings, where he was just one of four to survive the storming of Gold Beach back on June 6, 1944.

Taking to social media, the BBC 5 Live broadcaster shared: "Incredibly sad news. Harry was a true gentleman and a hero."

Her fans echoed Naga's post, with one replying with: "Such a lovely man. I remember vividly the day he sat and spoke to you, and the very humble way he described the things that he and fellow comrades had gone through. I hope he gets the send-off he deserves."

"RIP Harry. Touching interview. Honour integrity grit and beauty from a generation that can teach so much for today," said another.

Before a third commented: "Your interview with him was one of the best. You allowed him to talk and tell us what it was like. I was crying with you at the end. Now he's reunited with those comrades that he had to leave behind. But a hero to the end. Rest In Peace Harry."

"RIP Harry, I remember the interview. Naga you allowed Harry the time to tell you his thoughts with no interruption, a very warm and touching interview," typed another.

While fellow BBC Breakfast star Dan Walker added: "How sad to hear that D-Day veteran Harry Billinge has died at the age of 96.

"He gave one of the most moving and memorable interviews about friends he lost in battle & heroism. May he finally rest in peace."

During his appearance on BBC Breakfast, Harry said: "I'm no hero, I was lucky, I'm here. All the heroes are dead and I'll never forget them."

Harry had spent over six decades collecting for the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal, as well as being made an MBE in 2020 for raising funds to build a national memorial to honour his fellow comrades.

The veteran dedicated it to the 22,442 military servicemen and women who were killed on D-Day as well as during the Battle for Normandy.

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