12 British veterans awarded France’s highest honour

French Ambassador presents 12 British veterans with the Légion d’honneur for their role in the liberation of France

Wednesday 9 December

Twelve British Second World War veterans were presented with the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest distinction, during a ceremony at the French Ambassador’s Residence in Kensington, London.

The medals were presented by Ambassador Sylvie Bermann and Rear Admiral Patrick Chevallereau, the French Embassy’s Defence Attaché.

The veterans were honoured for their role in securing France’s liberation during the Second World War, many of them having taken part in the D-Day Landings in June 1944.

Ambassador Bermann said: “France wants to thank these veterans for their tremendous service to our country in the Second World War. They were ready to risk their lives over 70 years ago, and to them we owe the freedom that we enjoy today.

“They are living witnesses to a history they wrote on our soil, a history which shaped their identity, our identity and those of Britain and France.”

The full list of veterans decorated is:

• Arthur Bowen, 90, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
• Albert De’ath, 90, from Histon, Cambridgeshire
• Stanley Filby, 89, from Barnet, London
• Neville Foote, 95, from Tottington, Lancashire
• Brian Neill, 92, from London
• Norman Powell, 90, from Bedford, Bedfordshire
• William Ralph, 92, from Harlow, Essex
• Henry Rawlins, 90, from Edgware, London
• Alan Reid, 90, from Fulham, London
• Gordon Teichmann, 95, from Wimbledon, London
• Norman Vingoe, 93, from Aylsebury, Buckinghamshire
• Albert Wright, 93, from Abingdon, Oxfordshire

The ceremony was the latest in a number of medal ceremonies that have taken place around the UK since the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June 2014, when President François Hollande pledged to honour all those British veterans who had served in France during the war.

Last week, during a visit to Birmingham, the French Ambassador awarded the distinction to a group of veterans from the Birmingham region.

To see more images from the ceremony, visit the French Embassy’s Flickr page.

Watch ITV News’ report on the event here.

For more information about the Légion d’honneur, please click here.

Published on 17/02/2016

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