During the service, the Knight of the Légion d’Honneur Cross – which is the highest French order of merit for military and civil endeavours – was presented on behalf of the President of the French Republic by the Consul General of France to the veterans who served on D-Day and were part of the subsequent liberation of France. Since June 2014, more than 5,800 medals have been awarded.
Veteran Richard John William Honour, 98, from Comely Bank, who was deployed to Normandy in 1944 before advancing through France and Belgium, undertook a reading at the service which was conducted by the Reverend Dr Karen K Campbell, the National Padre of Legion Scotland. Music was provided by Legion Scotland signing sweetheart Amy Hawthorn along with performances by the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland and Combined Cadet Force pupils from Edinburgh Academy.
Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said:
“D-Day was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. Today’s service provided us with an important reminder of both the bravery and tragedy which surrounds that day, and it was a poignant and historic moment to witness the presentation of the Knight of the Légion d’Honneur Cross to more of our remarkable veterans.”“Legion Scotland is committed to providing comradeship for those in the Armed Forces community and to ensuring the memory of those who fell in service to our country is remembered forever. It will be an honour and a privilege to host these incredible gentlemen, and to recognise the immense contribution of an entire generation.”
“It was an honour to be able to represent the Scottish Government at the commemoration this morning, marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Today’s service allowed us a great opportunity to show our heartfelt gratitude to all those who were involved on that day, and I was especially touched to see the veterans in attendance receive the Légion d’Honneur in recognition of their service; something I know we will all agree is so richly deserved.”
D-Day on the 6th of June 1944 was the largest amphibious invasion in history and is a pivotal date in the story of the Second World War. Codenamed ‘Overlord’, the operation saw a massive military force set out from the UK towards France. By this point in the conflict, Germany had taken over nearly the whole of Europe. The Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy and started to break through German defences. They began an attack that lasted for almost a year and took them all the way to the German capital Berlin and victory.
Notes to Editors
Legion Scotland is the daily use name of the Royal British Legion Scotland, the largest ex-service membership charity in Scotland working at the heart of the community supporting veterans of all ages and from all conflicts. With nearly 165 branches, 65 clubs and more than 30,000 members, Legion Scotland, working in partnership with other organisations, provides veterans in the community with three key services covering remembrance, comradeship and befriending whilst supporting the welfare services and fundraising initiatives of Poppyscotland. Contact Legion Scotland at New Haig House, Logie Green Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4HQ, or telephone 0131 550 1586. For more information on Legion Scotland’s work, please visit: www.legionscotland.org.uk.
Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community. Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising enables them to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite. Please note that we are known as “Poppyscotland”, and not “PoppyScotland” or “Poppy Scotland”. For more information, please visit us at: www.poppyscotland.org.uk.