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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June, 2004, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
France honours D-Day veteran Jock
Jock Wilson
Jock Wilson has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur
Centenarian D-Day veteran Jock Wilson has received France's most prestigious military decoration, the Legion d'Honneur.

The 100-year-old, from Dunbar, in East Lothian, received the honour at a ceremony in London.

He took part in the 1944 Allied Forces' landings on France's Channel coast while serving as a frontline observer in the Royal Artillery.

Mr Wilson has also received the UK's Military Medal for bravery.

The Legion d'Honneur was introduced by Napoleon in 1802, but is not restricted to French servicemen.

Roll of Honour
1944 Jock Wilson landed in Normandy on 7 June
1945 Awarded Military Medal
2004 Awarded Legion d'Honneur

Mr Wilson said he knew nothing of his French accolade until a week ago when his daughter brought him his breakfast.

She had been told the night before but had decided to keep the news back until the morning because she realised he would not be able to sleep.

French Ambassador Gerard Errera wished Mr Wilson "many more years" as he recognised the sacrifices he made 60 years ago.

Glider assault

The Normandy veteran, one of many British troops who led the D-Day landings in a combined parachute and glider assault, declared it was "wonderful" to receive the decoration.

Mr Wilson lived in Edinburgh for 70 years, working for a firm of printers.

He is now planning to travel to France for the commemoration of the Normandy battle when he will visit the graves of some of his comrades.

"It's sad to think of this," the war hero said.

"I like going back because I always pay my respects to my friends. My driver was killed, he came from Dundee and he was only 24.

"The rest of us were knocked about a bit but we managed to hang on," he added.


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