World War Two veteran awarded French military honour

Presentation the Legion De Honouer to Roland Worth. Pictured in centre Roland Worth with his award and family.
Presentation the Legion De Honouer to Roland Worth. Pictured in centre Roland Worth with his award and family.

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

Former signaller and gunner, Roland Worth, 92, from Hunstanton, received the Légion d’Honneur at South Lynn Community Centre on Friday.

Mr Worth was joined by family and friends when Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner presented him with his medal.

He said: “I was 17-years-old when I was signed up, but I was aged 18 when I fought in D-Day.

“In many ways, the military training was a lot harder than the actual conflict. The marines trained us well.

“We would have to train on an assault course with many parts to it including really high walls. We did all this while the marines pelted us with bullets.

“We didn’t quite know what it would actually be like until we were out there, but when we got there we realised that the training was actually much harder than the actual battle.”

On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, it was announced that all veterans who took part in the invasion would be awarded the Légion d’Honneur.

Mr Worth said the reality of war sunk in once he noticed some of his friends failing to arrive back at camp after battling on the beaches.

He added that one of his most vivid memories came from a time when he was walking through a small town and entered a shop to persuade the shopkeeper to protect herself by hiding underneath a counter.

Before exiting the shop, Mr Worth took a postcard saying he would pay for it on his return to the town.

“I picked up a post card, but I didn’t have any money on me at the time so I told the woman that I would pay her back when we made our way back through the town,” said Mr Worth.

“I was told later on that we wasn’t going back there and I never got to pay her for my postcard. I would have liked to have paid her for what I took or have gone back at a later date, but I didn’t take down her name or the shops name.

“I’m not sure where that postcard has gone now. It has gone missing in the process of life either when moving house or when storing things. It would be a real prize to find my postcard, if it reappears one day.

“But, I am honoured and delighted to receive this award. It is truly wonderful to have this honour.”