Corby war veteran awarded Legion D’honneur

James Wigfield with Mayor of Corby and family and friends upon being presented his award.
James Wigfield with Mayor of Corby and family and friends upon being presented his award.
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A Corby war hero has been awarded France’s highest distinction.

James Wigfield has been made a chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honour for his part in the D-Day landings in the Second World Ward.

Mr Wigfield was presented with the award by Corby’s mayor Julie Riley, watched by family and friends.

On presenting the special award, Cllr Riley said: “It is a great honour to be here today and to welcome James Wigfield, his wife and friends to The Cube.

“Unfortunately Jim and his wife were unable to attend an award ceremony in London, but it gives me great pleasure and honour to be able to formally present Jim with his award here in his home of Corby.

“Today we honour Jim. We honour those from many nations who fought for the liberation of Europe. And of course we remember those who fell and were not to return.

“The peace that subsequent generations have enjoyed in Europe is due to the bravery and dedication of Jim and his contemporaries.

“It gives me great pleasure to present James Wigfield with this award.”

On the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June 2014, the French president announced that the honour would be awarded to all British veterans who fought for the liberation of France during the Second World War, and who had taken part in military operations in France during 1944 and 1945.

Jim Wigfield was one of those brave servicemen, serving with the Royal Artillery which participated in the Normandy landings.

Establishing that foothold on mainland Europe was vital not only for the liberation of France but the overthrow of the Nazis and the eventual end of the Second World War.

The French Government have been kind enough to recognise the contribution made by British veterans, including Jim, in the liberation of France.

The Legion D’honneur was established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte. It is France’s highest distinction and is awarded in recognition of both military and civilian merit.