A 92-year-old soldier who fought in the Normandy D-Day landings was remembered by family and friends at his funeral in Barnet last week.

Rodney James, lived at The Cottage Homes Retirement Estate, in Hammers Lane, Mill Hill, for 20 years after he was left widowed by his wife, Trudy.

The couple, who didn’t have any children, met in Germany where Rodney worked as a military police officer. Trudy, who was a German national, moved to London when he returned to the UK.

During the Second World War, Mr James lied about his age in order to join the local defence volunteer force. He later described his experience as similar to the television sitcom Dad’s Army.

In 1943 he volunteered for the British Commandos but was instead sent to the Middlesex Regiment barracks in Mill Hill.

Rodney fought during the D-Day landings in Normandy, in 1944.

After the war he worked as a tailor, making men’s suits and later at the retail store chain House of Fraser.

Husband and wife George and Paula Jones were friends with Rodney for 30 years and met him through St Paul’s Church where they were all members.

They used to drive Rodney from his residential home along with other members to the church’s Sunday service followed by a roast dinner lunch.

George recalls Rodney sharing one of his memories from the D-Day Landings, describing how came across a German soldier wearing a belt bearing the words “Gott Mit Uns", which translated means God with us.

“He could have shot the solder but he didn’t,” explained the 84-year-old, who lives in Mill Hill. “It transpired that this young German soldier was only 15 years old.”

Natalie Layman, who was not related to Rodney but was his next of kin and had been a close friend for 28 years, remembered him as a “generous man”.

“He made everybody welcome,” said the 70-year-old from Farm Road, in Edgware.

Rodney has been a keen classic car collector. He also collected military coins and was an avid royalist.

Family and friends attended his funeral at St Paul's Church, in The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, last Thursday (August 3), where the last post was sounded in his memory. He was cremated at the Hendon Crematorium.

“Rodney was a real gentleman, never boastful,” added George. “One would never guess the hardships and dangers that he had suffered in a long lifetime.”