Carmarthen wartime hero honoured by French President


David Williams, of Melin y Coed, Bancyfelin, near Carmarthen, has been awarded France’s highest honour.
President Hollande has appointed him a Chevalier in the L’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur.
He has received the insignia of the Order and a prestigious medal.
The accompanying letter emphasised that the honour was ‘in recognition of your acknowledged military engagement and your steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France’.
It added that ‘We owe our security and freedom to your dedication because you were ready to risk your own life’.
Mr Williams who is 97, was one of the brave soldiers who helped defend and liberate France during World War Two.
As a soldier in the ‘British Expeditionary Force’ supporting France’s fight for freedom in May 1940, David Williams was evacuated with the British and French troops from Dunkerque.
Following action with the 8th Army in North Africa and Italy, he took part in the liberation of France, landing in Normandy in 1944.
Once ‘Operation Neptune’ was completed, his responsibility was to deliver 40 ton Churchill tanks to the front lines.
This involved loading the tanks, often in difficult terrain and dangerous locations and driving the very heavy, unwieldy tank transporters in short shifts to battle theatres throughout France.
Mr Williams said “I’m overwhelmed by this exceptional honour. It has brought back many memories. During the war, I lost good comrades and I feel that this award honours them as well”.
Mr Williams will be receiving his outstanding award from France’s honorary Consul in Wales, Mme Marie Brousseau-Navarro who will be attending the Armed Services Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church, St Clears on 26 June 2016.

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