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War veterans awarded France's highest military honour in North Devon

George Laity, formerly of 231st Brigade, stands to receive his medal Credit: ITV News West Country

Veterans who took part in the D-Day Landings have been awarded France's highest military honour for helping to liberate France from the Nazis during the Second World War.

Dennis Small, former Royal Marine, is congratulated by the French Honorary Consul Credit: ITV News West Country

Former Royal Navy seaman Len Husband, Royal Marine Clifford Coates, Royal Marine Dennis Small and George Laity, of the Devonshire Regiment received the prestigious Legion d’honneur from French Honorary Consul, Alain Sibiril at RMB Chivenor in North Devon.

Clifford Coates, formerly of 41 Commando, receives his honour Credit: ITV News West Country

Former Royal Navy sailor Norman Johns was decorated with the award posthumously. A relative of fellow seaman Bob Harding attended on his behalf. The men are the latest set of veterans to be awarded the medal since French President Francois Hollande promised to honour all Brits who had served in France during the Second World War.


WATCH: War veteran recounts reuniting with former comrade at West Country care home

71 years ago they fought together as part of the Warsaw uprising and now, quite by chance, they find themselves living in adjacent bungalows.

In August 1944 Andrew Borowiec and Ted Stopczynski were part of the Polish Resistance trying to free the city from German occupation.

The pair have now find themselves reunited at Ilford Park, a residential care home for former members of the Polish Forces.

Mr Borowiec says they are fortunate to have found each other.

Polish resistance fighters reunited at care home

Ted Stopczynski and Andrew Borowiec fought together in the Polish resistance during the war Credit: ITV News

In what's being described as an "enormous coincidence," two Polish resistance fighters have been re-united at a West Country care home.

Andrew Borowiec and Ted Stopczynski fought side-by-side as teenagers in the second World War.

The pair are now neighbours at Ilford Park near Newton Abbot.

"It's wonderful that both of us are here obviously prosperous and that we survived all that and it's fortunately very far behind us."

– Andrew Borowiec, Polish war veteran