A war veteran currently residing in Ladymead Care Home in Swindon has been awarded the Legion d’honneur at the grand age of 93.
Brendan Carroll, who in 1944 landed on the Normandy beaches with the British Expeditionary Force, was presented with the prestigious medal at the Wroughton home.
Members of his family were in attendance and a proud Brendan, who was born in Bootle near Liverpool, was honoured to receive the award.
He said: “It’s very nice to get something from the French side. I’m very proud – it is much appreciated.”
Asked what he could remember about that perilous push through Western Europe in 1944 as the Allies closed in on Hitler’s shattered troops, Brendan said: “We just gritted our teeth and got on with it. We didn’t really think about it too much, we just pressed on regardless.”
The Legion d’honneur was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, and is France’s highest distinction and is awarded in recognition of both military and civilian merit. Brendan is just one of the veterans who have been honoured in Four Seasons homes across the UK.
Imelda Havers, Brendan’s daughter said: “I just can’t quite describe how proud I am. He is a wonderful man.”
One person who was missing the celebration was Brendan’s other daughter who lives in the States. As an extra surprise the care team and Imelda set up a Skype conversation between the two so Brendan could share his success with his daughter.
K C Byju Vasudevan, Home Manager, said: “The Skype call made Brendan’s day and was a really simple yet effective way that we could make a difference and provide a special experience for Brendan during this prestigious moment.”
Date published: 15 September 2017