War veterans presented with French honour

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Second World War veterans who helped to liberate France have been presented with the country’s highest honour.

James Patrick Donachie, from Bedford, was presented with the insignia of Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Colonel Colin Mason.

He was received his medal along with Sandy veterans Richard Edward Wood and Gerald Lucas Halfacre.

Col Mason read a letter from the French ambassador, which said: “As we contemplate this Europe of peace, we must never forget the heroes like you who came from Britain and the Commonwealth to begin the liberation of Europe by liberating France. We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life.”

Following the presentation Mr Donachie spoke about his experiences on the beaches of France in 1944, and said he was “very honoured” to be recognised by France after such a long time.

The presentations took place at the Sandy and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, on Sunday (March 13).