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  1. ITV Report

Ex-Royal Navy wren 'thrilled' at Légion d'Honneur medal for code-breaking

A 95-year-old former Royal Navy Wren has spoken of her pride at being awarded France's highest honour for her role in D-Day.

Patricia Davies was 18 years old when she joined the Women's Royal Naval Service, where she became the ears of the code-breaking operation.

The former Chief Petty Officer was honoured on Tuesday by the French Ambassador of London with the Légion d'Honneur - the highest French decoration and one of the most famous in the world.

Patricia Davies intercepted coded messages during the Second World War. Credit: ITV News

As a fluent German-speaker, Ms Davies became a translator and her job was to intercept coded messages from the German Naval ships - which was a role of great significance.

Revealing the intense pressures of the role, she told ITV News: "You are aware that these messages mattered and it could be life and death.

"We were aware it was a very important job and one you had to get right so if you had any doubts you left it blank, you don't make a guess, ever!"

In 1944 she was working in Dover when she had an unexpected encounter with the then prime minister, Winston Churchill.

"I came out of a direction-finding hut one morning to find Winston Churchill walking up the cliff with the lost farming officers so I waved and said 'Oh hello, good morning'."

Patricia Davies helped with the Allied effort in 1944, when she worked in Dover. Credit: ITV News

Ms Davies said: "I didn't do anything more than the rest of our secret listening wrens did, so I hope I am sort of getting it as a representative of lots of other people, not just what I did."

As touched as she was by her new medal, Ms Davies said she still needs to figure out when she can wear it.

Patricia Davies said she is Credit: ITV News

She added: "It is of all the medals you might get I think that's the most glamorous one, when I can wear it, I'm not quite sure.

"I don't think shopping and French supermarkets will be quite the right moment, I am very thrilled to have it."