Sunday, 4 December 2016

Waterloo man presented with Legion d'Honneur

Presenting John Shankland with the Legion d'Honneur

It was a genuine pleasure to meet John Shankland, who lives in Waterloo, and present him with the Legion d'Honneur on behalf of the French Government in grateful recognition for his part in the Liberation of Europe.

John was a regular soldier and before the war was stationed in India. He was at Dunkirk and finished the war with the British detachment at Beslen. I met his Grandson who had accompanied him a recent visit back the the battlefields of WW2.

At the end of the war John came to work fro Crosby Council and became the Mayor's chauffeur a post which he held up until 1984. I was a member of the council back thaen and recall that all the Mayoral staff were real 'characters'

I have presented one of the medals to a Southport man Ernest Jones and on that occasion I read out the citation from the letter that accompanied the medal. I did so again:

 As we contemplated 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. We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life.'

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