Full military honours were yesterday given to 92-year-old Edward Donnan at his funeral in east Belfast.
Mr Donnan, who joined the Irish Guards when he was 19 years old, was described by his son Eddie as “a professional soldier”. He died on June 5.
His funeral was held at St Donard’s Parish Church on Bloomfield Avenue before moving on to Roselawn Cemetery.
“My father was born on the 9th of October 1921 and he joined the Irish Guards in 1940 when he was 19 years old,” said his 68-year-old son.
“He went to North Africa with Montgomery for the North African campaign. He was captured there twice by the Germans and he escaped twice.
“He then went straight to Sicily and Italy where the Irish Guards took a bad hammering. He told me 1,080 men went ashore, they brought in 240 reinforcements from the 3rd Battalion, and after eight or 10 days there were about 230 men lifted off the beaches.
“He didn’t talk a lot about it.”
Mr Donnan said his father “then went off to fight in Belgium and Germany after D-Day”.
“He also fought in Egypt at the Suez Canal,” he added.
Mr Donnan, who said he was 14 before he got to know his father after he left the Army, added: “He was great company and had a great sense of humour.
“When he left the Army he became a postman. He and my mother Maria – who only died seven months ago – would have gone on holiday for around two months a year. They did this and travelled to England and France up until they were around 80 years old.
“My mother looked after my father in recent years and up until her death. He had great health and only went into a nursing home in March.”
The former soldier is survived by his children Eddie and Catherine, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.