A HERO war veteran who was left devastated after his Prestatyn home was burgled has died.

Eric Vaughan, 95, a Normandy landings veteran, died on Wednesday, December 19.

Mr Vaughan served as a Royal Marine Commando with 47 Commando in Normandy and the Allied advance through Northern France, Belgium and Holland.

He joined the Royal Marines in 1942 and was demobbed four years later. In addition to the British war service medals he received, he was also awarded the French Legion d’honneur.

In August, Mr Vaughan was away on a nostalgic cruise with his wife Beryl when he received a phone call from a neighbour informing him that their house had been ransacked.

The cruise would have included a trip to Normandy. He was "bitterly disappointed" to have been called back as this would have been the first time he had been back to Normandy since 1944.

At the time he admitted that he had been looking forward to seeing some of the places where he served and “reviving memories”.

Mrs Vaughan's laptop and a number of Mr Vaughan's wartime souvenirs were stolen, including two watches of sentimental value and money used at the time, including a Nazi Reichsmark.

Fortunately, the pensioner had taken his war medals with him on the trip.

Barry Carhill, an associate member of the Royal Marines Association which Mr Vaughan had been a well-respected member of, said: “I’ll always remember him for offering support and advice to our son, Tim, who had served in the Falklands.

"He became a friend for life."

Mr Vaughan was originally from Bodelwyddan, where his son Gary still lives today.

Speaking to the Rhyl Journal, Gary Vaughan said: “I was very close to my dad, as my mother passed away when I was nine. We were the best of friends.

"When I was in the Air Force in the 1980's, I enjoyed taking him round parts of Germany, where he once served.

"He was a proud man who, up until a few weeks ago, was still doing things for himself and would never want any fuss from anyone.

"The incident in August changed him and I don't think he was ever the same after that. However, these past few weeks he had perked up and had booked himself in for Christmas dinner, which he was really looking forward to."

Mr Vaughan returned to Bodelwyddan to work for the Ministry of Defence at an Army camp before being employed in a factory making electrical products in St Asaph.

When the story about his house being burgled was published in The Journal on August 22, readers responded by pledging their support to help Mr Vaughan get over what he had called a “distressing incident".

In November, the Rotary Watches team surprised him with a Limited Edition Rotary Centenary watch and made a donation to The Royal British Legion on his behalf.

They had heard that one of the item’s stolen from Mr Vaughan’s house was a Rotary Watch which had been gifted to him by his wife on his 70th birthday.

Mr Vaughan's funeral will be held from 1pm on January 10 at the St. Asaph Crematorium.