Tributes to Swansea war veteran Gordon Morris
TRIBUTES have been paid to an inspirational Second World War veteran who survived a famous battle and capture by Hitler's personal bodyguard unit.
Gordon Hollister Morris parachuted into the Battle of Arnhem where he was wounded twice — once with shrapnel and the other with a bullet in the right leg which was never removed.
During the conflict he was also captured by the SS and was a prisoner of war at the end of the fighting.
The 88-year-old, who served with the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, along with The Highlanders, died on January 29. He also went on to serve in Palestine.
Mourners remembered his life at a funeral service, which was held yesterday afternoon at Morriston Crematorium.
His youngest son Paul Morris, 45, said in recent years his heroic dad opened up about his experiences following return visits to Arnhem.
In tribute to his dad, he said: "His life has been incredible — he was an inspiration."
A piper led family members to the crematorium and the Union flag-draped coffin was taken by a horse-drawn carriage to the Swansea site as soldiers lined the route.
There was a minute's silence held before his coffin was carried in for the service, which was led by Reverend Nigel Griffin.
And a white floral tribute was given in the shape of the word "dad" along with flowers representing the regiment.
Mr Griffin told the congregation that the dad-of-three had a distinguished war record.
He also worked in security for British Steel at its Felindre site for 25 years before working in the same role at Swansea Council, along with DG Attwell Funeral Directors in Brynhyfryd on a part-time basis.
Mr Griffin said Mr Morris was "very much a family man" and was dad to three children — Clive and Paul Morris, along with Valerie Carol.
He added that the veteran had "a wonderful relationship with his grandchildren".
Mr Morris also spent a lot of time in Morriston Hospital chapel following the loss of his wife, Mavis Irene Morris.
The Reverend Griffin said: "He would come around the wards at Christmas time with a Santa Claus hat on and with a smile."
For the last two years, it emerged he had been battling cancer.
Bill Evans, Welsh regional secretary of the Parachute Regiment saluted the coffin, and read out the Para Prayer at the service.