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Wartime hero honoured by France

Legion d’Honneur: Bancyfelin resident David Williams
Legion d’Honneur: Bancyfelin resident David Williams
Legion d’Honneur: Bancyfelin resident David Williams

A SECOND World War veteran who served at Dunkirk has been awarded France’s highest honour in recognition of his services.

David Williams of Melin y Coed, Bancyfelin has been made a Chevalier in the L’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur. He has received the I nsignia of the Order and a prestigious medal.

The accompanying letter emphasised that the honour was ‘in recognition of your acknowledged military engagement and your steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France’. It added that ‘We owe our security and freedom to your dedication because you were ready to risk your own life’.

Mr Williams, who is aged 97, was one of the brave soldiers who helped defend and liberate France during World War ll. As a soldier in the ‘British Expeditionary Force’ supporting France’s fight for freedom in May 1940, David Williams was evacuated with the British and French troops from Dunkirk.

Following action with the 8th Army in North Africa and Italy, he took part in the liberation of France, landing in Normandy in 1944. Once ‘Operation Neptune’ was completed, his responsibility was to deliver 40 – ton ne Churchill tanks to the front lines. This involved loading the tanks, often in difficult terrain and dangerous locations , and driving the very heavy, unwieldy tank transporters in short shifts to battle theatres throughout France.

Mr Williams said: “I’m overwhelmed by this exceptional honour. It has brought back many memories. During the war, I lost good comrades and I feel that this award honours them as well”.

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Mr Williams will be receiving his outstanding award from France’s honorary Consul in Wales, Mme Marie Brousseau-Navarro, who will be attending the Armed Services Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church, St Clears on Sunday (Jun 26 ) .