Cambridgeshire

WW2 veteran awarded Norway campaign medal

George Hockney
Image caption George Hockney received a medal from the Norwegian Embassy

A 100-year-old naval veteran has been honoured for his role in the Allies' first land victory of World War Two.

George Hockney received a commemorative medal from Norwegian Embassy officials at his Peterborough care home.

The award recognised the Allied role in the capture of Narvik in Norway, which was followed by an evacuation that saved hundreds of British troops.

Mr Hockney said it was "an honour and a privilege" to receive the medal "on behalf of all my comrades".

The Norway Campaign began on 8 April 1940, as German forces prepared to invade the country, and ran until 8 June, as Norwegian resistance ended.

On 28 May, Mr Hockney was an engineer on HMS Auckland as Allied forces captured the significant port of Narvik.

Just days later, he assisted in the evacuation of 240 servicemen as the Allies retreated.

Image caption Defence attaché Col John Andreas Olsen presented Mr Hockney with his medal

Defence attaché Col John Andreas Olsen visited Park House Nursing Home to present Mr Hockney with his medal.

"After all these years, I've never had Norway out of my thoughts," said Mr Hockney.

"It was such a harrowing experience and I feel deeply honoured and privileged to accept this."

Col Olsen said Mr Hockney had "contributed so much" to the freedom of his country.

"He was just courageous. He put up a hell of a fight for us and the freedom of Norway and that's what's so emotional about it for us," he said.

Image copyright George Hockney
Image caption George Hockney during his time with the Royal Navy

Mr Hockney also earned medals including the British Empire Medal, the 3945 Star, and medals from Africa, Burma, Palestine and Malta.

The presentation came about after Tim Kundu, a historian who has pushed for recognition for the British Armed Forces in the Norway Campaign, contacted the embassy.

He said Mr Hockney had become "a real hero" to him.

"His wonderful nature, inner strength and fine sense of humour have made a profound impression on me," said Mr Kundu.

The first two Victoria Crosses awarded in World War Two were awarded posthumously to two Royal Navy officers who died in Norway in April 1940.

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