8th Dec, 2016

'Modest' Pershore war veteran given top honour

Aaron Wise 1st May, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A PERSHORE Second World War veteran has been presented with the prestigious Legion d’honneur in recognition of his services in France.

95-year-old Harold Wilson, who served his country between 1939 and 1945, was rewarded with the accolade at the Pershore and District Royal British Legion’s (PDRBL) 87th annual branch dinner on Saturday (April 23) at The Berkeley in Spetchley.

Commander Jon Milsom, chief of staff and principal engineer at the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering at RAF Cosford, presented Mr Wilson with the National Order of the Legion of Honour in the presence of Coun Val Wood, Chairman of Wychavon District Council, Coun Tony and Debbie Rowley, Mayor and Mayoress of Pershore, family, friends and cadets.

Mr Wilson, who lost three brothers in the war, served with the Scottish Yeomanry in Normandy in 1939 at just 18-years-old as a tank driver in Operations Epsom, Goodwood and Bluecoat.

During Operation Goodwood his Sherman Tank was struck by a missile which killed both the radio operator and the gunner, both aged 18.

The next day he was back in action in a replacement tank.

During the war Mr Wilson married his wife Jean in 1942 and saw action in the famous Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945, before he was stationed in the Belgium city of Antwerp.

Gareth Jenkins, honorary and membership secretary of PDRBL said: “Harold is a veteran who needed to be recognised for playing his part in liberating France.

“He is a very modest and unassuming gentleman who says he just doing his bit.”

Also during the ceremony, Commander Milsom presented Lt Stephen Thomas with a pictorial record of his service as Commander of TS Scimitar – Pershore’s Sea Cadet Corps unit.

Cadet Sergeant Major Martha Sadler from Pershore Army Cadets, cadets Charlotte and Stephanie Drinkwater from Pershore Sea Cadet Corps,

cadet Sergeant Jason Adlington from 233 Pershore Squadron Air Training Corps and cadet Molly Rickets from St John’s Ambulance’s Pershore unit, all received trophies for being the ‘best cadet’ in their respective units in 2015.