D-Day veterans dedicate awards

TWO D-DAY veterans who were recognised for their bravery more than 70 years after the battle have dedicated their awards to the men they fought alongside and Rotherham.

Frank Thorpe (91) and Garry Ardron (92) were presented with the Legion D’Honneur medal at a Town Hall ceremony, hosted by the Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Maggi Clark.

The honorary consul for France, Jeremy Burton, presented the veterans with the honour, which recognised their bravery and courage for their involvement in the D-Day landings.

French President François Hollande pledged to honour all those British veterans who had served in his country during the war.

He made the announcement after the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014.

Mr Ardron (92), of Greno Road, Swinton, was a leading stoker in the Royal Navy.

He served on HMS Argonaut providing gunfire support to the Normandy beaches.

Mr Ardron said the ceremony was a beautiful day and four of his friends from the Royal British Legion accompanied him as his wife, Marjorie (90), was bedridden.

He said although she could not attend the ceremony his wife of 68 years was beaming with pride.

Mr Ardron served for five years from being 18 years old and was one of the youngest out of the 550 men on board his ship.

“I was very happy to receive the medal on behalf of them,” Mr Ardron added.

Former Royal Navy electrician, Mr Thorpe, of Blenheim Close, Bramley, served on landing ship Tank 366 and sailed to France more than 20 times dropping supplies and taking the wounded back to England.

Mr Thorpe said: “It was an honour to receive it and to wear it because it’s a big thing.

 

“I look at it this way, I am a Rotherham chap, born and bred, and it’s a bit of credit for Rotherham to receive this medal.”