Bikers from Suffolk will be among those paying their respects as they accompany a war hero on his final journey.

On Friday, D-Day hero Bill Gladden, from Haverhill, will be laid to rest.

Mr Gladden’s name will surely be familiar to many in our county, especially in the wake of last week’s celebrations for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Mr Gladden was one of the soldiers to take part in the Normandy landings of 1944, heralded as the operations which would ultimately liberate France from the tyranny of Nazi occupation.

Bill Gladden was 20 when he took part in the Normandy landings. Image: PABill Gladden was 20 when he took part in the Normandy landings. Image: PA (Image: PA)

At 20, Mr Gladden was one of many who flew into Normandy on a military glider on June 6, 1944. His regiment was tasked with protecting the strategically important Pegasus Bridge.

When he was surrounded on June 17, Mr Gladden carried two seriously injured comrades into a barn that was being used as a medical post. Two days later, he was hit by machine gun fire from a Panzer tank while he was brewing tea.

Despite suffering devastating wounds, Mr Gladden was able to survive and return to England. He spent three years in hospital, where he learned to walk again.

Mr Gladden passed away at his home in Haverhill in April, aged 100.

Bikers from all over our county are determined to give him the send off he deserves.

The escort is being arranged by Jay Lorenz from Felixstowe, a former veteran himself.

“When I am asked to arrange these escorts, I am touched that I have been asked. When it’s a veteran, it becomes more personal,” said Mr Lorenz. “With these types of funerals, we try to go a bit further, and pull out all the stops.”

The bikers will be meeting at 11.45am outside the Tesco Superstore in Cangle Road.

For all the information, see the Facebook event here