A D-Day veteran with a ‘lasting legacy’ has died just months after his 100th birthday.

Joe Cattini from Eastleigh passed away on Tuesday, according to the British Normandy Memorial.

He served for five years from 1941 and on D-Day, landed on Gold Beach as a bombardier in the 86th Field Regiment of the Hertfordshire Yeomanry.

Joe celebrated his milestone birthday on January 17. 

He has been described as a ‘giant’ of the veteran community and will be greatly missed.


Isle of Wight County Press:

Nicholas Witchell, trustee of the British Normandy Memorial, said: “Another giant within the Normandy Veteran community has left us.

“We mourn Joe Cattini’s passing and remember the man that he was.

“I recall the support he gave to me and the memorial project in its earliest months.

“Thank you Joe, for everything, from your service in Normandy, to being the delightful man that you were.

“You will remain in our hearts.”

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Alberto Giuseppe Antonio Cattini was the eldest of four boys and was born close to Little Italy but grew up in Hampstead.

It was here his parents owned a café, only yards away in Elm Terrace.

Isle of Wight County Press: Undated handout photo issued by the British Normandy Memorial of Joe Cattini in uniform.Undated handout photo issued by the British Normandy Memorial of Joe Cattini in uniform. (Image: PA)

In 1949 Joe married Mary and the couple had three children – Dominic, Frances and Marian.

Later in life he joined the group D-Day Revisited to return to Normandy for the 70th Anniversary.

In 2014, he began visiting Eindhoven as part of the Market Garden commemorations.

Isle of Wight County Press:

And in 2019 he was present at the inauguration of the British Normandy Memorial, after having been appointed ambassador.

Joe visited the completed British Normandy Memorial In October 2021, alongside other veterans, and returned in 2022.

During his visit, he said: “I find it very emotional, sometimes.

“Because when one comes and looks at the pillars, and sees some of the names that you knew…you begin to wonder how lucky you were to have survived it.”