24 FEB 2017

Meeting a Dovorian recognised for extreme bravery

I had the honour of meeting a Dovorian awarded France's highest military recognition for his bravery at Dunkirk and on D-Day.

David Norris, 97, was presented with the French Legion D'Honneur at Capel Le Ferne's Battle of Britain Memorial. 

Mr Norris was on board the King George V, helping rescue thousands of British soldiers from Dunkirk in 1940. He was awarded the Dunkirk Medal.

Mr Norris was also involved in the D-Day landings of 1944. He served as a Greaser in the engine room of supply vessel Jesse G Cotting, making four trips to Utah and Omaha beaches carrying vital supplies.

It was a huge privilege to see him awarded the French Legion D'Honneur. Not only did he help rescue our army from Dunkirk. He also carried vital supplies across the Channel on D-Day to troops on the Normany beaches – from where they battled through France and to the eventual victory that ended the war.

Mr Norris was one of seven heroes and heroines being recognised at the ceremony for their part in helping to win the Second World War. Their valour then means we are free today. They were the survivors.

We must never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice and always remember the corners of foreign fields that will be forever England.

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Charlie Elphicke

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