YOUR STORY: Buderim war veteran receives Legion Of Honour

THE much awaited arrival of France's highest honour is over for 95-year-old World War II naval veteran Eric Cripps of Buderim.

The magnificent Legion Of Honour medal arrived by mail via the French Embassy in Canberra along with a letter of appreciation for the services that Eric rendered and signed by the French Defence attached on behalf of the President of the French Republic.

In this case the Legion Of Honour award recognises the sacrifice and bravery of those who fought to liberate France during the dark years of WW2 (1939-1945).

Eric originally joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve before WW2 and after mobilisation, the Royal Navy to become signalman aboard a Royal Naval Destroyer, HMS Intrepid.

He served the full period of the war aboard HMS Intrepid and then aboard minesweepers clearing mines off Cherbourg and the beaches of Normandy in preparation for the D-Day Allied landings.

Eric has already been decorated by the British and Russian governments for his part in the treacherous Arctic Convoys which supplied Russia with essential supplies and weapons. 

As well as Russian Convoys he also served on a number of Malta Convoys and in particular, Operation Pedestal which broke the Nazi blockade of Malta and relieved the terrible suffering the Maltese had been enduring.

The Maltese honoured Eric by awarding him a shared Malta Cross and Freedom of  Valetta. 

The Legion Of Honour award will take its place alongside the many other campaign medals and awards treasured by Mr Cripps.

Eric has lived on the Sunshine Coast since 1981 but originally came to Australia from England with his family in 1948. He now lives in Buderim Views Aged Care Facility with many of his proud family living close by.

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