It’s My Life

George Avery, known as Bunny, is an army veteran who took part in the D-Day landings. Bunny now resides at Royal Star & Garter’s Home in High Wycombe, which provides care to veterans and their families living with disability or dementia.

Bunny, far leſt, holding six-year-old Urbain in 1944.

Bunny was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers and was part of the second wave of troops to land on the

Normandy beaches on Normandy

landings, 6th June 1944. He advanced through Nazi-occupied Europe, building portable crossings which allowed troops and vehicles to travel at speed across rivers and canals. Along his way, he passed through recently liberated Auschwitz.

In 1944, Bunny became friends with a Belgian boy while building Bailey bridges to help Allied troops advance into Nazi-

Each and every care home resident has a remarkable tale or two to tell. Here, we find out the incredible story of how war veteran George ‘Bunny’ Avery was reunited with an old friend aſter 75 years.

Belgian address written on the back. The pair oſten return to France, Holland and Belgium to take part in liberation commemorations, and Kathryn called on her contacts to find out more about the photo. She eventually discovered that Bunny stayed with the family at the bakery in 1944 while building Bailey bridges. Kathryn was able to track down the baker’s family and got in touch with the son, Urbain, who was just six years old back then.

Kathryn and Urbain arranged to meet in his childhood hometown of Peer with Bunny. When there, Urbain produced a remarkable photograph showing him being carried by then 23-year-old Bunny. The friends went on to pose for a photo 75 years later, on the same spot.

Bunny now lives with dementia at Royal Star & Garter, and cannot remember his meetings with Urbain. However, he made a lasting impression on Urbain, who told Kathryn that he remembers playing with her father and him being good fun.

Bunny at Royal Star & Garter (credit: Royal Star & Garter). Bunny, reunited with Urbain, at the same spot they were photographed.

occupied territory. Astonishingly, Bunny was reunited with his Belgian friend at the very same spot, in front of the very same brick building, 75 years later in 2019.

In 2019, Bunny’s daughter Kathryn discovered in her father’s possessions photos of a bakery and a family with a

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At Royal Star & Garter, Bunny is particularly fond of the fresh bread, which is baked each morning to encourage residents living with dementia to eat. Kathryn says it is possible that the baked bread smell could remind her father of his time spent in Belgium with Urbain’s family.

Bunny spent five years in the army, from 1942-1947, and also served in Greece, Italy and Palestine. In 2016, he received France’s highest military honour – the Legion d’Honneur – as thanks from the government for his role in its liberation.

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