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  1. ITV Report

Légion d'Honneur presented to Normandy veterans

Twenty-one Second World War veterans have been presented with the Légion d'Honneur to honour them for their part in the Normandy "D-Day" Invasion campaign of June 1944.

It is the highest military honour the French government can bestow.

The ceremony took place at the Yorkshire Air Museum in North Yorkshire in front of a WWII Halifax bomber, and other historic aircraft.

The Légion d'Honneur was presented to the veterans on behalf of the French Government by the French Consul to Yorkshire, Mr Jeremy Burton and Colonel Bruno Cunat, who is the French Liaison Officer to the Ministry of Defence, based at RAF High Wycombe.

The Museum & Memorial has hosted three such ceremonies since April 2015, but this is by far the largest, with veterans attending from as far afield as Lincolnshire and Morpeth in Northumberland, and including Newcastle, Sunderland, Manchester, Leeds, York, Doncaster, Wetherby and Brighouse.

The veterans served with the Royal Navy, Army (various Battalions), Royal Artillery, Royal Marines, Royal Army Medical Corps and of course the Royal Air Force, making for a fascinating cross section of personnel gathering in one place, for a very special occasion.

Bernard Richardson presented with his medal

This is a historic and increasingly rare event with these very special people who represent a fast decreasing number of veterans from a period of our past history which still affects us to this day. From our experience, we know that this will be a very emotional time for all the veterans, as they remember many lost colleagues and friends, but a day also of pride, particularly for the many family members supporting them on this special day.

– Ian Reed, Museum Director