WWII operator who passed coded messages to D-Day troops 'very humbled' to receive France's highest honour

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Paul Davies

A former World War Two switchboard operator who passed coded messages to troops during the D-Day landings said she feels “totally unworthy” of being awarded France’s highest honour.

Marie Scott was just 17 when she was posted to Fort Southwick in Portsmouth, the hub of communications as soldiers landed on beaches in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

She listened to and gathered messages for Operation Neptune and the events unfolding on Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword - the code names given for the beaches on D-Day.

Ms Scott, 92, recalled her part in the invasion to liberate western Europe from the Nazis, telling ITV News Correspondent Sangeeta Kandola: "It was a one way system.

Marie Scott was just 17 when she was posted to Fort Southwick in Portsmouth. Credit: Marie Scott

“I would raise the lever, send the coding message through and they would respond and when they lifted their lever you could hear such gunfire, loud, sustained gunfire.”

She continued: "I had lived through the blitz in London, but this was totally different because it seemed some how, more personal."

Ms Scott will receive the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) in June when she travels with 30 other World War Two veterans to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The trip is run by the Taxi Charity, which arranges tours every year for veterans from all conflicts.

The 92-year-old will receive the honour in June when she travels to Normandy. Credit: Marie Scott

Speaking about being awarded the honour, the former switchboard operator attempted to play down her role.

She said: “I was a very small clog in a very large wheel, I can’t tell you how honoured I am.

Fort Southwick was the hub of communications for the D-Day landings. Credit: Marie Scott

"I’m very grateful and I am very humbled.”

Ms Scott will be officially awarded the Legion d'honneur by a French general at the Memorial Pegasus Museum in Normandy on June 5.