North East Wales

WW2 veteran Gilbert Butler gets Légion d'honneur medal

Gilbert Butler and daughters Margaret Amos and Annette Ellis
Image caption Gilbert Butler was accompanied by his daughters Margaret Amos and Annette Ellis

A 91-year-old war veteran has been awarded a French military honour for his part in the D-Day landings.

Former Royal Navy signalman Gilbert Butler from Deeside, Flintshire, was on a landing craft repeatedly delivering US troops to the Normandy beaches.

The Légion d'honneur is being awarded to all veterans involved in the invasion in a decision made following last year's 70th anniversary commemorations.

"I'm very proud indeed," he said.

Mr Gilbert received the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur in a special ceremony at his home in Shotton following an Armistice Day service at the cenotaph in Connah's Quay.

His medal was presented by Communities Secretary Carl Sargeant, a family friend.

"I'm overcome by all of this," said Mr Butler, who recently received the Russian Ushakov medal for his role in the Arctic Convoys.

He served onboard HMS Cooke as part of an armada landing thousands of troops on five beaches in Normandy.

"When you think back, it was horrendous," he said, recalling dropping US soldiers on to Omaha and Gold beaches.

"I wished them all the very best. Whether those lads ever came back, I do not know."

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