France Decorates THREEWELSH Heroes for D-Day Heroism; Three Welsh Veterans Have Received France's Highest Honour for Their Bravery in Helping Free the Country from Nazi Tyranny during World War II

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 3, 2017 | Go to article overview

France Decorates THREEWELSH Heroes for D-Day Heroism; Three Welsh Veterans Have Received France's Highest Honour for Their Bravery in Helping Free the Country from Nazi Tyranny during World War II


Byline: Abbie Wightwick reports

THREE World War II veterans from Wales have received France's highest honour in recognition of their bravery in the campaign to liberate France from the Nazis.

Peter Horn, 96, from Cwmbran; Raymond Harry Simmons, 95, from Caldicot; and John Cecil Price, 92, from Bridgend, were the last of 300 veterans in Wales awarded the Legion d'honneur over the past three years as part of the French government's commemoration of the end of World War II.

The medals were presented to them at a ceremony in Cardiff by the Honorary Consul of France in Wales, Marie Brousseau-Navarro.

Mr Price was just 18 when he served on a Royal Navy minesweeper in the water leading to the beaches the night before the D-Day landings and for two months afterwards.

The railway worker turned wireless operator denied he was brave, despite the constant risk of the vessel being blown up by mines or attacked by German U-boats.

"I suppose I was risking my life every day but you don't think about it too much. When the fighting started, we drew back for the battleships.

"The sky went dark and it was very noisy. I remember the landing craft came in after us and a lot of the soldiers going ashore were seasick. You had to keep going. If you stopped to think what was happening, you would have had your chips."

Mr Horn was in charge of taking 28 wagons of ammunition from the water up the beach to the front line on D-Day as a private in the Ordinance Corps of the 51st Highland Division.

He said adrenalin kept him going as all hell broke loose around him on Sword Beach.

"You had not got to panic. You couldn't be frightened. When you got to the beach they were hammering away and the adrenalin was oozing out of you. It meant you couldn't get there quick enough.

"We landed on the beach and were shelled and attacked from above. …

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