MPs to debate administration of the award of the Legion d’Honneur to UK Normandy veterans


I'm all for it but what is to be debated and why now?

This is Cyril Banks who was in the Royal Navy as a Seaman AA Gunner on board the Algerine class minesweeper HMS Ready during Operation NEPTUNE. He was presented with his Legion d'Honneur by the French Defence Attaché at the Royal Overseas League in London in November 2012 as described here and stayed with me after attending the D-Day ceremonies in Normandy in June 2013.

Cyril Banks with Legion d'Honneur 002 med.jpg

This is Eric Rackham who was in the RASC and drove a DUKW amphibious vehicle ferrying personnel and supplies between the D-Day ships off Arromanches and Gold Beach from 7 June to mid-July 1944 when the Mulberry harbour was completed. He stayed with me in June last year immediately after being presented with his Legion d'Honneur at a ceremony in Normandy.

Tenno Dogger and Eric Rackham visit June 2014 (22) med.jpg

Sadly, Eric passed away three months later.


Book Reviewer
It's to be debated because - well, long story.
After the D-Day commemorations last year (70th) the nice Fr President announced that he was extending the award to all those involved in the liberation of France (and still alive). Previously, the two chaps above were part of a very small number selected to receive them. this announcement extended it to several thousand.

The French are doing their level best to get these awards out, but are swamped. The debate is likely intended to put pressure on them to get a move on.

Oh, and it's not just Brits who are getting this - USA, CA, etc are also eligible. It's as if we suddenly decided to award 10,000 OBEs to random foreigners - we'd be unable to cope as well.

Latest Threads