Bernard Jordan made headlines last year after he left his care home in Hove to attend a D-Day memorial in Normandy


A war veteran who “escaped” his care home in Hove last year has left his entire estate to the RNLI.

Bernard Jordan died in January, leaving his £600,000 estate to his wife Irene, who sadly passed seven days later and donated the whole lot to the charity.

Having served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, Mr Jordan made headlines last year after he left The Pines care home to join hundreds of other veterans in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

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He was reported missing to Sussex police shortly after disappearing and turned up on the other side of the Channel a few days later.

RNLI chief executive Paul Boissier said: “This is absolutely wonderful, unexpected news. Bernard’s story charmed the nation last year when he journeyed from his Sussex care home to France to commemorate the D-Day landings.

“That spirit, that determination, is embedded deep within the psyche of our volunteer lifeboat crews who go to sea to save others in peril.

“I am delighted that the couple chose to leave use this sizeable donation, and their contribution, like those of Bernard’s veteran peers, will never be forgotten.”

RNLI legacy manager Guy Rose said: “Even the smallest gift in a will is vital to saving lives at sea and critical to the future of the RNLI. Six out of every ten lifeboat launched are only made possible because of gifts in wills, so we are extremely grateful when people support us in this way.”

Mr Jordan’s funeral will be held at St Michaels and All Angels Church in Brighton on Friday, 30 January.