Longridge war veteran’s pride in his D-Day honour

Herbert Hayes, 100, of Longridge, who has been awarded the The Legion D'Honneur, the highest award given by the French Government for services in Normandy on D-Day.  Mr Hayes was recently awarded The Freedom of Longridge.
Herbert Hayes, 100, of Longridge, who has been awarded the The Legion D'Honneur, the highest award given by the French Government for services in Normandy on D-Day. Mr Hayes was recently awarded The Freedom of Longridge.

Longridge World War Two veteran Herbert Hayes has been awarded France’s highest honour, The Legion D’Honneur.

Centenarian Mr Hayes has been honoured with the award for his part in the the D-Day landings at Normandy.

The French government has been awarding the Légion d’honneur to D-Day veterans for a number of years, as a way of honouring and thanking those who fought and risked their lives to secure France’s liberation during the Second World War.

Mr Hayes joined the Royal Artillery as a motor fitter and chauffeur at the age of 18 and was based in Gibraltar for seven years prior to war breaking out. He continued to serve with the Royal Artillery as a gunner and worked his way up to become Lance Corporal and was sent all over Europe.

After the war came to an end, Mr Hayes returned home and went back to his passion for motorcycle mechanics before becoming an antiques dealer.

Mr Hayes, who will be 101 on November 21, has been member of Longridge Royal British Legion for at least 50 years and a committee member for around 40.

One of Mr Hayes’ two daughters, Stella Smith said he felt “very honoured” to have received the award and they were all “really proud” of him. The grandfather of five and great grandad of four was a granted the Freedom of Longridge last month for his war service.