Medals for brave heroes
Two South Yorkshire World War II veterans have been awarded France's highest military honour.
Garry Ardron, aged 92, and Frank Thorpe, 91, were presented with the Legion d’Honneur medal by the Honorary Consul for France, Jeremy Burton, at a special ceremony at Rotherham Town Hall.
Their bravery and courage was recognised for their involvement in the D-Day landings, which was seen as a turning point for the Allies as they advanced to liberate France from the Nazis.
Mr Ardron, from Swinton, Rotherham, was a Leading Stoker in the Royal Navy. He served on HMS Argonaut providing gunfire support to the Normandy beaches.
He said: “It’s a great honour, I’ve never been honoured so much in my life. It was beautiful – I’ve never experienced anything like it, I really enjoyed it.
“It wasn’t ‘poshy-poshy’, it was all common talk. All the dignitaries were really nice.”
He recalled his ship firing more than 4,000 shells on a single day as the Allies launched their invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.
Mr Thorpe, from Bramley, Rotherham, was an Electric Wireman, Royal Navy, who served on landing ship Tank 366.
He landed at 7.30am on D-Day and made a further 20 trips throughout the war. He brought troops and supplies to the beachhead and took away the wounded and prisoners.
Following the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014, French President François Hollande pledged to honour all those British veterans who had served in his country during the war.
The Legion d’Honneur is the highest French order for military and civil merits and was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.