WW2 veteran receives D-Day medal 73 years on
A Burnham-On-Sea war veteran has been awarded France's highest wartime
honour for his role in the Normandy landings 73 years ago.
French government has awarded Burnham pensioner Tony Winterburn,
91, the Chevalier de L'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur for
his involvement in the liberation of France during the Second World
to Burnham-On-Sea.com this week, he said: "It's a great honour
and wonderful recognition."
served in the Merchant Navy and had just been promoted to Second
Radio Officer when he was posted to SS Stanridge in May 1944. The
ship was ordered to London Docks to load war supplies and several
recalls: "Early in June, we sailed for Normandy, an area in
the vicinity of Arramanches, and landed our men and cargo on the
beach, via landing craft. We made five or six subsequent voyages
from London Docks, landing men and materials on Gold, Sword and
Juno beach heads."
each passage through the Dover Straits, always at night, we were
in action against German E-Boats and suffered losses. Our final
run to Normandy ended on August 10th, 1944, after which I was transferred
to another ship."
Bermann, the Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom, says in
her letter to Tony: "I
offer you my warmest congratulations on this high honour in recognition
of your acknowledged military engagement and your steadfast involvement
in the Liberation of France during the Second World War."
adds: "As we contemplate this Europe of peace, we must never
forget the heroes like you, who came from Britain and the Commonwealth
to begin the liberation of Europe by liberating France."
owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were
ready to risk your life."
told Burnham-On-Sea.com how he learned of the award: "It all
came about after my daughter Miranda read an article in a London
newspaper about someone who'd received the award and we realised
that the French government is recognising those who were involved
in the Normandy landings."
initially approached the MoD and sent in a record of the ships that
I'd served on and the dates of my service in the war."
MoD confirmed I would be applicable and soon after I received a
letter from the French ambassador confirming that the President
had appointed me to the rank of Chevalier de L'Ordre National de
la Legion d'Honneur."
is a lovely to have the recognition over 70 years on, and really
wonderful that the French government is doing this."