HQ ARRC French Officers present local resident with the Legion d'honneur medal
INNSWORTH, United Kingdom - French Army Officers serving with HQ ARRC presented local WWII and D-Day veteran, Leslie Middlecote with the French Legion d'honneur medal today.
The medal was established in 1802 by Napoleon to recognise the greatest service you can give for your country.
Corporal Leslie Middlecote landed on Gold beach at 10:30hrs on 6th June 1944 before being wounded 6 weeks later when he was repatriated back to the UK.
"We had a rough time on Gold beach and of course lots of the lads didn't come home," he said. "It's a great honour to receive this medal and wonderful to see so many people here, especially the French Army officers."
Middlecote's step-son Chris Davis has worked at Imjin Barracks' Coffee shop for the last five years and was instrumental in making today happen.
"I'm really pleased for him," he said. "It's taken a long time to get this medal, I started asking about it two years ago and the staff here at Imjin barracks have helped by liaising with the medal office and the French Embassy, it's great that it's finally happened."
The ceremony was also attended by children from a local primary school and his partner, Julia.
"I felt a bit teary when the citation was read out, it's wonderful that what Les did during the war has finally been acknowledged," she said.
"It's a great honour to meet Mr. Middlecote and to present this medal to him, said Presenting Officer, Lt Col Olivier. "The Order National de la Legion d'honneur is the highest-ranking medal in France and all of the soldiers who disembarked onto French coast are deserving of this medal."
Story by Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Public Affairs Office