Catholic pupils praise ex-headteacher and Catenian who was D-Day veteran

Pupils at a school founded by a D-Day veteran have spoken about their admiration for him.

Frank Doran from Worcester, who is 100, enlisted into the army when he was 18 and two years later fought in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

He served with the 15th Air Formation Signals, participating in the D Day landings and eventually setting up the first land-line contact with Paris, earning him the French “Legion d’Honneur” medal.

Afterwards he became the founder and first head teacher of Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College.

Frank was also a founder member of Malvern Catenians in 1972, and was recently honoured by the Association with a 100th birthday party. At the party, Catenian Circle president, John Duddington gave a speech paying homage to the significant life achievements of Mr Doran.

His 100th birthday was further commemorated with a congratulatory card from King Charles and Queen Camilla, as well as a framed Blessing from Pope Francis.

This week he spoke to current pupils of Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College on the 80th anniversary of the landings, to tell his story. The interviews were recorded by the BBC.

One of the pupils, Toby, said: “I think it’s just amazing really because even though he could have been shot at any point he just stuck on with it.”

“I’d be amazed that he’s got through all this and then started a school and he’s still going strong,” he added.

Mr Doran set up the school in 1963 and worked there for 22 years.

Asha, who is 15, said: “I feel really proud because it gives this school more of a history behind it.”

After hearing his stories, she said: “I just can’t imagine being put in those shoes, going through all of that, going to a different country fighting for his country.”

“I just think it’s really inspiring to be so brave and humble about it.”

She also said some of the things he saw must have been “really awful”.

Rafi, another pupil, said: “I just think that it’s crazy that the founder of the school actually went through all of that.

“It kind of shows that everyone and anyone was pulled in and it doesn’t matter who you are, if you were called in to fight that’s what you did.”

She added: “I can’t even imagine how brave everyone had to be.”

The pupils were interviewed by BBC Hereford and Worcester reporter Tom Edwards. You can hear the full interview here:

Pic: D-Day hero Frank. courtesy BBC