Ambassador decorates 12 British WWII veterans

Ambassador Bermann awards France’s highest honour to veterans who fought for France’s liberation during the Second World War

Tuesday 31 January

French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann has presented the Légion d’honneur to 12 British veterans for their role in the liberation of France in the Second World War.

The medals are France’s highest distinction and were presented at the Ambassador’s Residence in London in the presence of Lord Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and Minister of State for Defence.

France has so far had the privilege of decorating more than 4,300 D-Day veterans across the UK since President François Hollande pledged to honour all British veterans who served in France during the war on the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June 2014.

Paying tribute to the men’s bravery in the same week that Holocaust Memorial Day was commemorated, Ambassador Bermann said: “I am particularly honoured, this morning, to be able to award the Légion d’honneur to 12 extraordinary men who took part in the liberation of France between 1944 and 1945."

The full list of veterans decorated is:

• Percival Frank Edward Chafer, 97, from London, Gunner, Driver of Bofors Self Propelled Gun
• Anthony Dorling, 93, from Bures, Lieutenant in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry, Royal Artillery
• John Alfred Duke, 95, from Surrey, Corporal in the Royal Armoured Corps
• Donald Raymond Evans, 92, from Romford, Private in the 36 Port Ammunition Detachment
• Oliver Lucas-Hodge, 93, from Bedfordshire, Signalman in the Royal Navy
• Schera Morris Masters, 97, from Essex, Lance Corporal
• Edgar Pearce, 92, from Hertfordshire, Sergeant in the army
• Ivan Solomons, 93, from London, Sergeant in the Royal Horse Artillery as a gun crew
• Victor J. Syborn, 96, from Chiswick, Lieutenant in the 5th Regt. Royal Marines Armoured Support Group
• Alfred Arthur Wilson, 91, from Enfield, Stoker in the Royal Marine
• Albert Wiltshire, 94, from London, Wireman in the Royal Navy on Landing Craft Tank 706
• Alan Wright, 91, from Orpington, Seaman on HMS Pickle, Minesweeper

Also in attendance to support veteran Schera Masters was a photographer from Blind Veterans UK.

To see the photos taken by the Embassy’s photographer, click the image below.


Published on 08/01/2020

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