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D-Day Veteran receives prestigious accolade

A D-Day veteran from Ebbw Vale was honoured for the part he played in the liberation of France.

Thomas Price, 91, received the Legion d'Honneur, France's highest award at a ceremony on Friday 23rd September 2016 in Red Rose Care Home where he currently resides.

The Blaenau Gwent man served in the Royal Engineers and landed on Gold Beach during Operation Overlord, the codename given to the Normandy landings.

The Sapper, who joined the army aged only 17 and a half, helped with the disembarkation of troops from landing craft during the landings and later worked clearing mines from the beaches.

Prior to the invasion he was involved in manoeuvres using landing craft across the south coast of Britain, even landing at Tenby.

After the Battle for Normandy he served throughout North-West Europe and assisted with the liberation of the notorious Belsen concentration camp.

He also worked as a train driver for the army, seeing service in Libya and Palestine. In civilian life he continued to work on the railways when he also became a union activist.

Thomas was also involved with the Labour Party up until the 80s and representatives from the party, including local AM Alun Davies were at the Red Rose care home in Ebbw Vale for the presentation. The honour was presented by Marie Brousseau-Navarro who represents the French Consulate in Wales.

Son-in-law Peter Cashmore who was there with his wife, Thomas' daughter Sarah, said Thomas was a "very proud man", adding "and we are very proud of him and everything he has done."

"It's the highest award the French government can give to a civilian. It feels like a very special award." He added: "It's very touching that the French still honour those who played their part on D-Day. It means a lot to us as a family."

Thomas told us: “I feel very proud and honoured to have received this award.”

Also present at the ceremony were Thomas’ three sons Andrew, David and Siriol and representatives from the Army.

Date published: 15 September 2017


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