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France honours Eric with Legion medal

A proud Eric Cripps with his Legion Of Honour medal.
A proud Eric Cripps with his Legion Of Honour medal. Contributed

ONE year might feel insignificant when you've lived for 95.

But for Buderim's Eric Cripps, the year spent waiting to receive his Legion of Honour medal couldn't have felt any longer.

Son Lindsay Cripps said his father, a Royal Navy signalman, was delighted to finally receive France's highest award recognising his sacrifice and bravery while fighting to liberate France during the Second World War.

A young Eric Cripps.
A young Eric Cripps.

"We nominated him a year ago but they had to go through all the details and checking services records and it arrived in the mail a few days ago."

He said his father was honoured for his role aboard boats sweeping the beaches before D-Day.

"The Legion of Honour medal was originally instigated by Napoleon for those who put their lives on the line for France," he said.

"Because dad was on naval vessels before the invasion on the sixth of June 1944 on a minesweeper mining at Normandy making way for troops, he was eligible to apply.

"It's very lucky he was accepted as it's a very rare medal and in its history it doesn't run into the thousands of medals that have been given out."

The ship that Eric Cripps worked on during the Second World War.
The ship that Eric Cripps worked on during the Second World War.

Mr Cripps said he and his five siblings were still told stories about their father's time at war and were proud and happy they could share the joy of his medal with him.

"He went through a lot of hardship and terror when the Nazis took over France and we all love and care and are proud of what he's done."

The award will take its place alongside the many other campaign medals and awards treasured by Mr Cripps, including the British Arctic Star and the Russian Ushakov Medal.

Topics:  legion of honour


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