Tuesday, 17 May 2022
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Britain's oldest WW1 veteran has this week been made an Officer of the French Legion of Honour.

Henry Allingham, aged 112, was awarded his Legion d'Honneur medal by the French Ambassador to Britain, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne at the French Embassy in London.

Henry, who served in World War One, is the oldest Royal Navy veteran, the last known survivor of the Battle of Jutland, a founding member of the Royal Air Force and Britain's oldest man.

He was joined at the ceremony by his Grandson David Gray, from Northern Michigan, USA, who said:

"Despite his years, he still enjoys a joke and is as sharp as ever. He's determined to ensure that today's generation does not forget the sacrifice of those who fought in the First and Second World Wars. I'm delighted for him to be receiving this mark of such gratitude from the French people."

Veterans Minister Kevan Jones, who attended the ceremony this afternoon said:

"Henry Allingham has helped generations of schoolchildren remember the sacrifice thousands of British soldiers made in World War One and ensured that they understand the debt of gratitude we owe them. This is a wonderful tribute to Henry's bravery and commitment and we thank the French government for this honour."

The Legion d'Honneur is the highest decoration in France, awarded by the French President. Last week, Britain's only other surviving veteran of World War One, Harry Patch, was awarded the same honour.

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