Legion d’Honneur for Bexhill war veteran

George Frost with Captain Francoise Jean. Picture by Derek Canty
George Frost with Captain Francoise Jean. Picture by Derek Canty

A D-Day veteran from Bexhill has been presented with France’s highest military honour for his services in the Second World War.

George Frost, 90, of Sutherland Avenue, received the Legion d’Honneur, at the Little Common branch of the Royal British Legion on Saturday (June 4).

He was given the medal by Captain Francoise Jean, Consul Honoraire de France, at a special luncheon ceremony, attended by family, friends and fellow veterans.

George said: “I was very pleased and honoured to receive the medal. But we must remember a lot of people who served in the war didn’t return home. I lost a lot of friends as well, who I served with.”

The presentation was the latest in a number of ceremonies around the UK after French president, Francois Hollande pledged to honour all the surviving British veterans who had served in France.

George was born in Tottenham, and brought up in Wales where he left school at the age of 13 and went straight to work in the coal mines.

He was called up in 1944, aged 18, and joined the 8th (Midlands) Parachute Battalion. In no time he found himself sitting in one of hundreds of aircraft heading for France and into action.

The 8th Parachute Battalion fought in Operation Tonga, the British airborne landings in France on D-Day, the Normandy Campaign, and the break out to the River Seine in August 1944.

The battalion returned to the UK in September that year but headed back to mainland Europe following the German winter offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge. This was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg on the western front towards the end of the war. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard.

The 8th Parachute Battalion’s final mission during the war was the River Rhine crossing in March 1945, followed by the advance to the Baltic.

George’s final tour of duty was in Palestine in 1947 where his battalion was sent with the 6th Airborne Division.

He moved to Bexhill in 1980.

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