17 veterans awarded Légion d’honneur at Ambassador’s Residence
11 November 2016
Seventeen 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 London.
The medals were presented by the French Ambassador to the UK, Sylvie Bermann and the Defence Attaché Rear Admiral Patrick Chevallereau.
Ambassador Bermann said: “This ceremony is not only to thank the brave men who fought in the name of freedom. It is also a message to every British person: that we shall not forget.”
The veterans were honoured for their role in securing France’s liberation during the Second World War, with many having taken part in the June 1944 D-Day landings.
The medal ceremony follows a number of others 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 British veterans who had served in France during the war. France has so far had the privilege of decorating more than 4,300 D-Day veterans across the country.
The full list of veterans (in order of decoration) is:
Keith Lesley Chapman, 95, from Barnet, Captain
Kenneth Roland Williamson, 94, from Surrey, Staff Sergeant
Arthur Murrell, 90, from Surrey, Senior Ordinary Seaman
Ernest William Oakford, 93, from Surrey, Leading Seaman
William Carey, 91, from Essex, Leading Seaman
Frank Charles Standen, 95, from Hertfordshire, 1st class Coxswain
Roy Beckett, 93, from West Yorkshire, Telegraphist
Cyril John Crowe, 93, from Sevenoaks, served in the Royal Navy
Israel Jacob Freedman, 95, from Surrey, Merchant Navy Engineer
Robert William Gravells, 92, from London, Seaman in the Royal Navy
Frederick Ernest Hart, 92, from Surrey, Signalman in the Royal Navy
James Johnston, 92, from Suffolk, Private in the Kensington Regiment
Edward Thomas McDonnell, 92, from London, Gunner Driver
Fred Miller, 95, from Uxbridge, Drive in the Royal Army Service Corps
William George Mitchell, 91, from London, Leading Rate
Arthur Henry John Fox, from Hampshire, Signalman
Gordon Rosenberg , 94, from Westcliff-on-Sea, served as a Royal Air Force sergeant in Codes and Cyphers
To see all the photos from the event, click the image below.