Veterans formally presented with their medals at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor on Wednesday

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

Nine World War Two heroes who took part in the D-Day landings have been awarded France's highest honour.

The veterans - seven of whom were from North Devon - were formally appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Légion d'Honneur at a ceremony at RMB Chivenor on Wednesday.

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

The recipients - Bill Baverstock from Bideford; George Lambert, Roy Phillips and Fred Roulstone from Barnstaple; Franck Parsons from Fremington; Percival Saunders from Landkey, John Tyler from Northam; Alf Bolt from North Tawton and Harry Rossiter from Exeter, were presented with their medals by Alain Sibiril, French Honorary Consul to the South West.

Mr Sibiril said: "All of you contributed valiantly to the liberation of our country from Nazi occupation.

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

"On behalf of France I thank you and congratulate you all on receiving France's highest honour, the Légion d'Honneur."

From returning casualties and delivering medical supplies, to serving as gunners, radar operators and kitchen staff, the nine men all played different, but equally important roles in the assault on the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944, as they started to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation.

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

Mr Tyler, who lives in Northam, said it was 'an honour' to receive the medal.

"It's been a long time coming, but it just goes to show that they still remember it," he said.

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

"I think we all went over there scared, but it was something we were ordered to do and we did it, but I don't think anyone could say that they weren't scared."

Roy Phillips was just 15 years old on D-Day, and found himself on board HMS Orion, the ship that fired the first shell in the Normandy invasion.

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

The 88-year-old, who now lives in Barnstaple, said: "I don't really remember much about the day itself. We left and came down the west coast.

"The next thing I knew it was still dark and we started shooting shells."

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

The Chairman of the Royal Marines Association (North Devon Branch), John Peel, acted as the master of ceremonies for the event.

Also in attendance were the Adjutant, Captain Ric Moat RM, and the Regimental Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer 1 (RSM) Tim Jukes RM of Commando Logistics Regiment Royal Marines.

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

It's a busy week for RMB Chivenor, who hold are holding Armed Forces Day celebrations at the base on Saturday from 12-5pm.

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart

Nine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt SmartNine D-Day veterans were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at a special ceremony at RMB Chivenor. Picture: Matt Smart