The stunning story of a Watford paratrooper who died alongside his dog on D-Day has been highlighted after a memorial honouring the battle was unveiled.

Dog handler Emile Corteil, who was 19 at the time, parachuted in with Alsatian 'para dog' Glen during the Normandy landings before being killed by an Allied air strike.

The pair, who were found dead side by side and linked by a dog's lead, were buried together at Ranville Commonwealth War Cemetery.

Leavesden resident Simon Perry highlighted the story online and is now asking Watford Borough Council to consider erecting a permanent memorial.

Watford Observer: Emile Corteil and Glen. Picture: Corteil and Glen. Picture:

He said: “Their story is probably told to hundreds a week during the battlefield tour season.

"It's both tragic and heroic, given his age of just 19, coupled with the bravery involved and their participation in the largest invasion force ever assembled.”

Earlier this week a British Normandy Memorial was unveiled in Ver-sur-Mer, France, which honours 22,442 people under British command who died on D-Day.

Simon, who is interested in the D-Day landings and the individual stories of military and civilian personnel, first heard of Pte Corteil’s story during a visit to the Ranville cemetery.

Watford Observer: The British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer. Picture: PAThe British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer. Picture: PA

He discovered the teenage paratrooper and his parents lived in Watford after conducting more research when he returned home.

“Being born and bred in Watford I always keep an eye out for any connection with ‘my town’ on these visits to Normandy," Simon continued.

“I'm from Leavesden so I felt very honoured to have paid my respects at his graveside.

"On my next visit to Normandy, I would like to place a wreath at his grave from the people of Watford.”

Watford Observer: Emile Corteil's grave at the Commonwealth war cemetery at Ranville. Picture: Simon PerryEmile Corteil's grave at the Commonwealth war cemetery at Ranville. Picture: Simon Perry

According to, Emile Servais Corteil was the son of Servais Corteil and Jessie Amelia Corteil from Watford.

It also published an article recalling how the 9th Parachute Battalion, which included Private Corteil and Glen, was tasked with storming the German Merville Battery but it landed away from its designated drop zone.

Around 40 men then attempted to march around eight miles towards the inended target but was hit by an Allied aerial assault intended for the Germans.

Most of the party were killed, including Emile and Glen.

When fighting eased soldiers searched for their comrades and it was then that Emile and Glen were discovered in a bomb crater, still joined by the dog’s lead.

The epitaph on Pte Corteil’s headstone, written by his mother, reads: “Had you known our boy you would have loved him too. “Glen” his paratroop dog with his killed with him.”