Everyone at PEP would like to congratulate Tony Delahoy our volunteer board member who was among nine Scots veterans to receive France’s highest distinction of honour for their role during the liberation of France during the Second World War.
Eight of the former servicemen received the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur at a presentation ceremony on board the French navy destroyer Aquitaine docked at Leith yesterday.
The servicemen risked their lives during the D Day landings and the subsequent furious conflict to drive the Nazis back and liberate France – bravery and comradeship that has never been forgotten by the French people.
A spokeswoman for the consul general said: “France will never forget the gallantry and bravery they showed in taking part in the liberation of France 70 years ago.
“The actions and sacrifice of these men, and that of so many who fell on the battlefield, was instrumental in bringing back freedom and peace in France and across Europe.”
Emmanuel Cocher, Consul General of France in Scotland and Rear Admiral Patrick Chevallereau, the French Embassy’s defence attaché presented the medals to the old soldiers.
Gunner Anthony ‘Tony’ Delahoy was a dispatch rider in the Royal Artillery. He undertook vital communication and reconnaissance operations between HQ and Anti-Tank Guns engaging Panzers. He saw action throughout Normandy during the campaign and was involved through the Caen Sector and in the Battle for Le Havre.
Tony said “On my many returns to Normandy over the years each succeeding generation of the people of France have welcomed Veterans with great kindness, dignity and honour, expressing their heartfelt feelings for the return of their freedom.
“We Veterans owe to the people of France admiration for their courage and
determination to survive the terrible times of the occupation, we pay tribute to them and particularly to the citizens of Normandy for their courage and
sacrifice during the battles for liberation.
“One personal incident I would like to mention, on the way over to France, June 1944, our ship was hit by a large electrically guided bomb but it failed to
explode. I have always believed that somewhere brave resistance workers
sabotaged that bomb. Thank you.
“Thank you for the very great honour today – Vive la France!”