A HIGHLY decorated Second World War veteran who lived in the Dengie with his family has died, aged 98.

John Baker was served his war office papers just three weeks before his 18th birthday in 1938 and just few weeks later was heading for training for the Royal Navy’s combined operations.

During the Second World War he was responsible for operating landing crafts which transported troops from ship to land.

His first operation took place in Sicily and as the war intensified he was called to land troops across the world including Gibraltar, Port Said, Bombay, Ceylon, Malaysia and many more countries.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: John's medals. Photo: William BakerJohn's medals. Photo: William Baker

At the end of the war the veteran returned home as a highly decorated leading seaman of the Royal Navy.

He was awarded medals for landing in Africa, Burma, Italy, France and Germany as well as two war medals and a combined operations medal.

Read more >>> In memoriam: Death notices published in Maldon and Burnham Standard this week 

He also later received the Legion d’honneur from the French government.

Another proud moment for John was when he took part in the 75th anniversary of D-Day, where he gave an account of his experience.

Shortly after the war ended, he met his wife Pauline.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

The couple, who shared a love of motorbikes and adventure, went on to spend more than 70 years together and received two cards of congratulation from the Queen.

They moved to a bungalow in Tillingham in 2014 and John would attend Knightswood Day Care centre in Asheldham, where he made many friends.

John died of old age and Alzheimer’s on March 3 at Broomfield Hospital.

He was a much-loved husband, father, grandad and great grandad.

He is survived by wife Pauline, who is 92 and still lives in their bungalow in the Dengie, as well as sons William and Raymond.

In a tribute to his father, William said: “He brought laughter, compassion and kindness to everyone he met.

“In his personal life he was always happiest when he was with others. He was the heart of the family and made every occasion one of happiness.”

William says this is how the family will remember him, and they hope those who knew him will too.

A funeral service will be held on April 8.