Highest honour for war veteran

Veteran George Skipper at  D Day Museum at Caen.
Veteran George Skipper at D Day Museum at Caen.

A proud Second World War hero will be presented with a prestigious military award next month – and says the accolade is for all those killed in the conflict.

D-Day veteran George Skipper, 92, is to receive the Légion d’honneur – France’s highest honour – during a Remembrance Concert at St Nicholas Cathedral, in Newcastle, on November 7.

George, from Whitley Bay, will be presented with the decoration by the Duchess of Northumberland for his courageous role in helping to liberate France.

Warkworth and Amble District Royal British Legion member George said: “I am very proud and will be very honoured to receive the Légion d’honneur. But it is not for me, it is for all the blokes that lost their lives.”

George was only 20 when he landed at Gold Beach on D-Day, as part of the massive Allied invasion of German-occupied France.

He was aboard a merchant vessel which had crossed the Channel in a huge flotilla and unloaded fighting vehicles onto the landing craft during the initial phase of the operation.

He said: “I was scared. There were bodies everywhere, firing and shells landing all around and obstacles on the beach. I don’t think we would have made it if it wasn’t for the naval bombardment.”

After D-Day, George served in the Ardennes as part of a special team which was made up of Army interpreters who would interrogate captured enemy soldiers in the field. He made it to Germany and was demobbed in Hamburg in 1947.

Last year, he attended commemorations in France to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.