England

War veterans receive Legion d'Honneur

Peter Cliffe Image copyright PA/John Stillwell
Image caption Peter Cliffe landed at Leon-Sur-Mer in Normandy on 6 June 1944

British veterans have been presented with France's highest military honour in recognition of their role in the country's liberation in World War Two.

Men who took part in the D-Day landings of June 1944, most of them in their 90s, received the Legion d'Honneur.

Former merchant seaman Peter Goldsack and ex-Para Charles Guscott received their medals from Honorary Consul James Ryeland in Dover, Kent.

"I feel extremely proud - this is a great thing," said Mr Goldsack.

Another 12 veterans received their medals from French ambassador Sylvie Bermann at a ceremony in London.

One of the recipients, Peter Cliffe, 94, from Woking, Surrey, landed at Leon-Sur-Mer in Normandy on 6 June.

Mr Cliffe, a captain in the Lincolnshire Regiment, helped to cover the exits from bridges over Canal De Caen and the River Orne.

Over the following two days, 22 men in his unit had been killed or wounded - as he himself was on 8 July.

Image copyright PA/John Stillwell
Image caption Leslie Sutton landed on Omaha beach with the 1st American Army during D-Day
Image caption Peter Goldsack and Charles Guscott received the honour in Dover for their part in the D-Day landings
Image copyright PA/John Stillwell
Image caption Harry Card, 89, was the youngest to be honoured in London

Leslie Sutton, 91, from Ilford in Essex, was a corporal in the RAF when he landed on Omaha beach with the 1st American Army during D-Day.

He fought through France, liberating villages and helping to secure and hold airfields for the Allied forces.

Former able seaman Harry Card, from Orpington, south-east London, 89, was the youngest to be honoured.

He served aboard HMS Swift, an S-class destroyer, providing escort for HMS Warspite, Ramillies and Mauritius for the assault on Sword Beach on 6 June.

While on patrol on 24 June the ship struck a mine and sank, with the loss of 53 lives.

Mr Card survived the explosion and was rescued from the sea.

The presentation is the latest in a number of ceremonies around the UK since the 70th anniversary of D-Day two years ago, when President Francois Hollande pledged to honour all the surviving British veterans who had served in France.

Image caption The Legion d'honneur is the highest military honour

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