REFERRING to Mr Pope’s letter in a recent County Gazette (Postbag, December 6), I would just like to assure him and your readers that the person who switched on the Christmas lights in Taunton this year (Jim Booth) is certainly not “a nobody”.

He is in fact a local, even a national, hero.

Although a very modest man, he was certainly a war hero, being part of a mini submarine crew which visited the French coast in 1944 to ascertain exactly where the Allied boats would need to go on June 6 1944 and to guide the D-Day invasion force landings on the Normandy beaches, remaining submerged for 64 hours.

He went on to serve in the Far East, carrying out various highly dangerous reconnaissance operations.

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Since the war he has been a farmer, including helping set up Mole Valley Farmers, he also trained as a teacher and spent time as a volunteer improving access for the disabled to National Trust properties and training disadvantaged young people to work on the land.

He still attends national commemorations in London and locally.

Then, in November 2017, at the age of 96, he was subjected to a vicious, unprovoked assault in his own home and left for dead, but from which he managed to recover against all odds.

He was soon, through sheer determination, back singing with local choirs and playing the organ.

I would not call him a nobody, in fact he really is a “top celebrity”.