Photos from the Legion d`honneur presentation at Worcester Guildhall and Worcester Branch Meeting
Press Release ( Courtesy of the Mayor of Worcester`s Office)
Worcester heroes receive la Legion d`honneur
Tuesday 26 January 2:30pm
Mayor`s Parlour, The Guildhall, High Street, Worcester
Two Worcester residents will receive the National Order of the Legion of Honour ( Ordre national de la Legion
d`honneur) from the Honorary French Consul in recognition of their service in France during the Second
World War. The awards will be made in the presence of the Mayor of Worcester, family members and
Born in Worcester in 1926, Eric Tipping was 16 years old when talk began of an invasion of England. He
pretended he was 17 so he could join the services, later becoming a member of the Worcestershire
Regiment as an infantryman. He travelled to join the 1st Worcesters in the front line in Normandy as part of
the D-Day invasion of France, landing on a beach at Arromanches.
Eric became involved in every action of the battalion for the rest of the 1944-1945 campaign in North
Western Europe, operating a German sub-machine gun and a German Luger pistol, both of which he removed
from a German soldier he had captured.
He was part of the British 43rd (Wessex) Division who fought to capture the bridge at the River Seine, near
Vernon in August 1944. This was the last battle that Eric fought on French soil, before pushing on into
Germany. After the war Eric returned to his beloved Worcester and continued to work for the Co-op for
another 30 years, before reaching retirement. Eric still lives in Worcester.
Michael first moved to Worcester in 1926, aged four. He attended Worcester Royal Grammar School leaving
at Christmas 1939. In may 1940 he joined the Local Defence Volunteers, later the Home Guard. Now 18 he
was invited to join the Royal Artillery. After six-months at Aberdeen University he went to OCTU gaining his
commission in 53 Medium Regiment in September 1941. There followed a brief period of coast defence
before his regiment was assigned to the Second Front. Training in Scotland seemed endless until crossing on
an LST to France on D-Day, aged 22.
As Gun Position Officer Michael was controlling a troop of four 5.5 inch guns, his regiment being under the
command of the 3rd British Division. After the German defeat in Normandy and the siege of Le Havre his
regiment moved up to Belgium and southern Holland. At Christmas 1944 the Germans attacked through the
Ardennes and Michael`s regiment was again involved. In 1945 came the battles for the Reichswald and the
crossing of the Rhine at Wesel. At this point Michael volunteered to train as an Air Op pilot. He gained his
wings and joined 652 AOP Squadron RAF. Now a Captain he served in Germany until demobilisation in 1946.
About the Ordre National de la Légion d`honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by
Napoleon Bonaparte on 19 May 1802. The Order is the highest decoration in \france and is divided into five
degrees of increasing distinction : Chevalier (Knight), Officer (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand
Officer (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross).
The order`s motto is Honneur et Patrie (Honour and Fatherland) and its seat is the Palais de la Légion
d`honneur on the left bank of the river Seine in Paris.
In 2014, President Hollande pledged to bestow all surviving British veterans with the award during his
speech to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The awards to Eric Tipping and Michael Stone will be made by Monsieur Robert F Mille, from the French
Honorary Consul in Birmingham.