The war veteran who touched the heart of millions after a video of him being helped out of his wheelchair to pay his respects on Armistice Day has passed away.
Ray Shuck, described by friends as a ‘true hero of the Second World War’, became a viral sensation as he paid his respects at last year’s centenary event at the Manchester Cenotaph.
The video which showed the 95-year-old, from Bolton, was made even more poignant when two younger paratroopers helped him stand up to remember the fallen servicemen and servicewomen.
Family friend Gary Bridson-Daley, seen in the video pushing Mr Shuck in his wheelchair, said the veteran died peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning surrounded by his family.
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He added: “Ray will have a special funeral, which will be fitting for the true hero of the war that he was. He deserves to be honoured and have the highest amount of respect paid to him.”
“He captured the heart of millions when the video went viral and that’s a testimony to the kind of man he was.”
“Despite being 95, it remained important to him to stand up and pay tribute to all those who lost their lives during conflict. My thoughts are with the family.”
Mr Shuck was a paratrooper for The Parachute Regiment during the war.
Last year, Mr Shuck told the MEN of his miraculous survival after D-Day in 1944 when he was shot in head in Ranville by a German sniper.
The bullet put a groove in his skull as it went straight through his tin hat.
He was left for dead, covered in blood from his gaping wound, but a Russian man living in Ranville saw his leg twitch on the battlefield and called for a doctor.
The bullet knocked him unconscious and he slowly recovered over the course of a year, firstly at hospitals in France and then back in the UK, in Cheltenham.
If the bullet hit any lower, the surgeon said, it would have been a very different outcome.
Describing his recollections of the war, Mr Shuck said: “We were fighting for England, that gave us more courage. We didn’t want Nazis in Buckingham Palace.
“I killed a few before they got me. I don’t know how I did what I did. It was never terrifying, I enjoyed it.”
Mr Shuck lived out his last days in Kearsley, with his family of two children, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Lynda Raynor, Mr Shuck’s daughter, said: “He was a big family man and his passing has left a huge hole in our lives.”
“He loved going to Normandy each year to go to the annual remembrance service. He was looking forward to going this year as it is the 75th anniversary.
“The funeral details when confirmed will be on social media.”
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