Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Gosport D-Day veteran appeals for help to find lost medal

John Baker and his Legion D'Honneur medal Image copyright Blind Veterans UK
Image caption John Baker hopes the medal can be found before he visits the war graves in France

A D-Day veteran has appealed for help to find his medal, which fell off during a commemorative event last week.

John Baker, from Gosport, was awarded The Legion D'Honneur medal, France's highest military honour, for his part in liberating the country.

It was lost at some point on 6 June between leaving his home and the 75th anniversary event onboard HMS Belfast on the River Thames in London.

He hopes it can be found before he visits war graves in France next week.

Mr Baker, who helped to build a bridge across the Rhine during the advance into Germany, said: "I would be so proud to wear that medal again there."

The veteran, who lost his sight due to age-related macular degeneration, found he had misplaced the medal after the special event held by Blind Veterans UK for D-Day veterans on-board the ship.

Mr Baker said: "It was such a lovely day but unfortunately for me it had a very unhappy ending.

"I really hope someone has found it and it can be returned."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Baker attended D-Day commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy onboard HMS Belfast

Maj Gen Nick Caplin, chief executive of Blind Veterans UK, said: "As soon as we heard that the medal had gone missing we returned to the ship to search for it but unfortunately it wasn't found.

"There were thousands of people around HMS Belfast on Thursday so hopefully someone knows something or has even handed it in somewhere."

He added: "We hope that John's treasured medal can be found but we will ensure that a replacement medal is presented if not."

The charity said Mr Baker was driven from Gosport to the event in London by a staff member who has thoroughly searched their car.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Blind Veterans UK.

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