D-Day war hero who helped liberate French town dies aged 98

An army veteran who heroically defended the famous Pegasus Bridge in France during D-Day has died.

Sergeant James Beasant passed away aged 98.

He will be remembered as a war hero after fighting back the Germans when he was parachuted into Normandy on June 6, 1944, during the Second World War.

The former paratrooper helped defend the bridge over the Caen Canal along with other soldiers.

He then moved on to liberate the French town of Ranville.

He engaged Germans in close quarter combat before assisting Private Tommy Malloy on a Bren gun.

Sadly Mr Malloy was killed during the assault and Sgt Beasant was later captured.

Sgt Beasant previously said: ‘I was helping my mate Tommy Malloy with a Bren gun. I put the last magazine in and Tommy gave it the last three bursts when a German got us with a hand grenade over the hedge to our left.

‘I heard a bang and that was it, it killed him outright. I got caught in the thigh.

‘I was taken prisoner and they took me over the Seine in a wing boat to the hospital but it was full, treating Germans, so they took me to a school which had been converted to a hospital.’