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  1. ITV Report

Normandy veteran receives France's highest military honour

One of the few surviving British veterans of the D-Day landings has been presented with France's highest military honour, more than 70 years after the Allied invasion on the beaches of Normandy.

Ron Oxley receives the Legion D'Honneur Credit: ITV News

93-year-old Ron Oxley received the Legion D'Honneur at his care home in Rotherham on Monday, as he wasn't well enough to travel to France to receive it in person.

It's a great honour for me. An absolute honour.

– Ron Oxley, World War II Veteran

Promised last year by the French government to recognise the role of D-Day veterans like Ron, who survived the horrors of Omaha Beach - the most intensely fought battle of the D-Day landings.

Ron on his wedding day in 1945 Credit: ITV News

There were thousand of Allied casualties with German forces having built formidable defences on the cliffs above. Ron's ship ferried American ambulances to Omaha Beach - and came under heavy fire.

Ron has rarely spoken about what he witnessed:

It's a closed book. In detail he only mentioned it once and that was as they were coming into the beach they could hear the thump as the front of the ship was hitting bodies as it arrived at the beach to unload the ambulances.

– Ian Oxley, Ron's son

It is a year since the French government announced it would give its highest award to all surviving Normandy veterans. But because of red tape on both sides of the Channel many have since died.