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‘You gave us freedom’ - D-Day heroes are honoured at special ceremony
NORMANDY veterans have been honoured with French commemorative medals at a special ceremony.
The event, which honoured veterans of Operation Overlord, took place at Christchurch Civic Offices on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The president of the Normandy Landings and Normandy Remembers Committees, Admiral Christian Brac de la Perrière and his chief of staff Madame Liliane Bouillon-Pasquet wanted to honour those who were not in France for the international commemorations.
The medals were presented by the Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Denise Jones and the chairman of Dorset County Council, Cllr John Wilson.
Medals were presented to former Bournemouth councillor Phil Carey of the Tactical Airforce who landed at Utah Beach and Lorna Cockayne, a wren at Bletchley Park decoding the German Lorenz messages from Hitler’s HQ and used by Allied forces on D-Day.
Anthony Mott, who served with the 3rd Royal Horse Artillery, 7th Armoured Division landing at Arromanches, was also honoured along with Fred Newman, who served on the front line as a soldier throughout the Battle of Normandy campaign.
Merville Pidgeon, who served in the ATS in the Bayeux Headquarters during the Battle of Normandy and who was Mentioned in despatches, also received a medal.
After presenting the medals, the mayor said to the veterans: “It is a tremendous honour and privilege for me to be here today.
“I think to myself ‘what would my life have been like if it hadn’t been for what you did?’ “You gave us the freedom that we wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t succeeded and for that I sincerely thank you.”