WWII

'Really Big Moment': D-Day Veteran Receives Highest French Honour

Ray Mellors was awarded the Legion d'honneur for his service during the Second World War.

A 93-year-old D-Day veteran has been awarded the Legion D'honneur in a special ceremony in Nottingham.

The French Consul to the East Midlands presented it to Ray Mellors, who was just 18-years-old when he landed in Normandy.   

He is now a patient at Nottinghamshire Hospice who organised the ceremony.

Speaking after the ceremony, Ray Mellors said he "got welled up" when they played the national anthem and that he will never forget his comrades.

"It is a really big moment for me.

"I shan't forget those people who didn't make it. I'll always remember them."

Ray Mellors DDay Veteran French Honour Courtesy Ray Mellers
Ray was part of the South Staffordshire Regiment, which later merged to become the Mercian Regiment (Picture: Ray Mellors).

In 1944 the D-Day veteran landed on Sword Beach and was heavily involved in the liberation of Caen.

He went on to join the Blackwatch regiment and took part in the Rhine crossing.

Decades later and the 93-year-old got a surprise visit by the French consul to officially award him the Legion d’honneur.

Jean-Claude Lafontaine, the Honorary Consul of France for the East Midlands said it was a chance to say 'thank you' to Ray and his service during the Second World War:

"It's an amazing opportunity to say thank you to someone who has made a real difference in our lives," he said.

"The point is that 73 years ago if he had not been on these beaches we wouldn't be here today."

Ray Mellors DDay Veteran French Honour Normandy Visit Courtesy Jim Kenyon
Despite saying he would never return, Ray retraced his steps and went back to Normandy last year (Picture: Jim Kenyon)