England

Yorkshire World War Two veterans receive Legion d'Honneur

Veterans receive the Legion d'Honneur Image copyright yorkshire air museum
Image caption The French ambassador Sylvie Bermann presented the veterans with the medals

Six D-Day veterans from Yorkshire have been presented with France's highest military honour.

The award is being given by France to all surviving British veterans of the 1944 Normandy landings to honour their part in the liberation of France.

France's ambassador to Great Britain presented the Legion d'Honneur to five of the men at the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington.

The veterans, who come from across Yorkshire, are all aged in their 90s.

The men honoured were 99-year-old Eric Gill from Edlington near Doncaster, 98-year-old James Denwood from Mexborough, Gerald Eric Briscoe, 94, from Bradford, 92-year-old Gordon Collinson from York and Thomas William Wright, 91, also from York.

Catherine Rush from Keighley also received a medal on behalf of her late husband Bernard Anthony Rush, who died before the presentation ceremony.

Ian Richardson, from Yorkshire Air Museum, said that Elvington had been a fitting place for the ceremony and the day had been "very emotional" for all involved.

"RAF Elvington was home to the only two French Squadrons within the RAF Bomber Command," he said.

"Both played a vital role in the D-Day invasion campaign, bombing coastal defences in their own country on the night of June 5 1944 to secure the Normandy beach-head for Allied troops landing the following morning."

Image copyright yorkshire air museum
Image caption Yorkshire Air Museum's memorial garden was planted to remember Allied Air Force personnel killed in World War Two
Image copyright yorkshire air museum
Image caption Two French squadrons operated from Elvington with RAF Bomber Command during World War Two
Image copyright British Pathe
Image caption The Legion d'Honneur is being given by the French to all surviving British veterans of the 1944 Normandy landings, in honour of their part in the liberation of France

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