HEROIC tales often derive from the Second World War, but few are as daring as that of Lieutenant Commander John Bridge.

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings which saw 160,000 British and Allied troops begin the invasion of Nazi-controlled Europe.

During his early years, John was born and worked on a farm in Culcheth, before studying physics at the University of London and becoming a teacher.

Following the outbreak of war however, he was tasked with clearing mines on the beaches of Normandy.

And his wartime experiences are detailed in a book recognising 22 war heroes from nine different countries from D-Day onwards.

READ MORE > How Warrington Museum told people about the D-Day landings

Dr Ken Tout, himself a Normandy tank commander who wrote ‘How Modest are the Bravest’, praised John’s wartime efforts and explained the reasoning behind his place in the book.

He said: “For his many such feats, John fully merits a place in this book of heroes.

“Even in such select company, his name and story stands supreme.

“He also exemplifies the main theme of the book that, at the moment of utmost battle peril, it is usually the quiet and thoughtful man, rather than the bully or braggart, who stands tall, ready to give his life for his comrades.”

As part of his role in the Second World War, John was required to clear an area of the Normandy coastline from mines and booby traps erected by Field Marshal Rommel.

This was to allow a convoy of ships to land and install portable harbours on the beaches.

A number of the mines were specially designed by the Germans in anticipation of the D-Day invasion and were unknown to John.

John was also tasked with finding and disarming a torpedo in the River Waal in the Netherlands, after the Germans partially blew up the Nijmegen Bridge.

The only way he could find the torpedo was to hang from a bridge pier by his arms and fish for it with his bare toes.

After locating it, he then used his toes to trap it in a wire net, lift it out of the river and was then able to diffuse it.

John's family say they are extremely proud of him, and that his modesty meant that he did not open up about his experiences very often.

"We did not really appreciate the work he did during the war because he did not talk about it in great detail – he was just our dad," said his daughter, Sue.

"He took great pride in his work and was proud of the teams he led during his bomb disposal work, especially that non of his men were ever injured.

"My dad worked for a more equitable world and was proud of his achievements."

For his efforts in France and The Netherlands as well as in Italy and England, Lieutenant Commander John Bridge, who died in December 2006, was awarded the George Cross, George Medal and King's Commendation for Brave Conduct.

To read more about John’s wartime bravery, be sure to read ‘How Modest are the Bravest’, by Dr Ken Tout, which is out now.