1. ITV Report

A war veteran received a surprise honour - France's highest distinction

War veteran receives France's highest honour Photo: ITV Meridian

A war veteran received a surprise award today, to honour his service during the D-Day landings of World War II.

Frederick Temple believed he was at the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth to celebrate his 93rd birthday - so he was shocked when he was presented with France's highest distinction, the Légion d'Honneur.

Fred, who lives in Gosport, was 16 years old when he left home to join the Marines. He became a LCA Coxwain assigned to the SS Empire Cutlass and completed four trips delivering British soldiers to Sword Beach on D-Day. He then returned the following day to safely deliver US troops.

Fred said it was a 'real honour' to receive the Légion d'Honneur

My Granddad is a very humble man and does not like to think that his actions that day were in any way heroic, but as I am sure you can imagine, we as a family are extremely proud of the part he has played for his country.

– Lisa Bracher, Fred's granddaughter

Fred's son, David, applied to the French government for the honour to be bestowed upon his father. In the surprise ceremony today in Portsmouth, Brigadier Hayden White, Deputy Commandant General Royal Marines, presented Fred with the medal.

  • Watch Emma Wilkinson's report:

Interviewees: David Harvey (Fred's son), Lisa Bracher (Fred's granddaughter) and Fred Temple.