In the quiet lanes of Aintree, a sombre mood envelops the community as they bid farewell to one of their own, a revered figure whose valorous deeds during the tumultuous days of World War II will forever be etched in the annals of history.

Walter Bigland, a stalwart of the Royal Marine Commandos, breathed his last at the age of 99, just months shy of the 80th anniversary of the historic D-Day landings in Normandy.


Bigland’s journey into the heart of wartime heroism began at the tender age of 19, as he embarked upon the perilous shores of Sword Beach, part of the formidable force that spearheaded the liberation of France.

Laden, with the weight of duty and armed to the teeth with a bicycle, a rubber dinghy, ammunition, and grenades, navigated through the chaos and carnage with unwavering determination.

His recollections of that fateful day vividly depict courage amidst chaos. Amidst the deafening roar of gunfire and the piercing screams of fellow comrades, Bigland’s first instinct was not for self-preservation but to assist a wounded brother-in-arms, a testament to his unwavering commitment to the cause.

However, Bigland’s bravery extended far beyond the shores of Normandy. From the windswept fields of Holland to the distant shores of the Far East, he continued to serve with distinction; his unwavering resolve was a beacon of hope in the darkest of times.

Even after the guns fell silent and the war drew to a close, his dedication to duty remained undiminished. He continued to serve in the reserves and later carved out a successful career in the civil service.

As the world prepares to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Bigland’s passing serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by a generation for the cause of freedom.


His funeral service, to be held at St Giles Church, Aintree Lane, will be a solemn occasion, a fitting tribute to a man whose life was defined by courage, sacrifice, and unwavering devotion to duty.

In the words of his fellow servicemen, Bigland was not just a hero but a symbol of the indomitable spirit of humanity in the face of adversity.

His legacy, and that of his comrades-in-arms, will continue to inspire future generations to strive for greatness, to never forget the price of freedom, and to honour those who laid down their lives so that others may live in peace.

As the sun sets on the life of Walter Bigland, let us remember not only the man but the ideals for which he stood.

In a world plagued by uncertainty and strife, may his legacy serve as a beacon of hope, a reminder that even in the darkest of times, the human spirit has the power to overcome all obstacles and triumph over adversity.


This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members