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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

comrades.

Eric Tipping

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 Stone

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.

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Eric talking to Lt Col Greg Bayliss of the Mercian Regiment
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L>, Lt Col Greg Bayliss, Eric Tipping, Pte Morris, Pte Beardsmore
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Eric and news reporter from the BBC who interviewed him after presentation
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Monsieur Robert F Mille, from the French Honorary Consul in Birmingham and Mayor of Worcester Roger Knight
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Eric receiving the Legion d`honneur from Msr Robert Mille
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Michael Stone Receiving the Legion d`honneur from Msr Robert Mille
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L>, Eric Tipping, Mayor of Worcester Roger Knight, French Honorary Consul Msr Robert Mille, Michael Stone
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Lt Col. Greg Bayliss of The Mercian Regiment reading Eric`s Citation, and mentioning how proud the regiment is that a member of an antecedent regiment is receiving the award
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Msr Robert Mille , Eric Tipping, Michael Stone, Mayor Roger Knight
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During the Mayors speech he mentioned the feature and Regimental Stone in Gheluvelt Park and the names behind the wooden doors on the walls of the room where the presentation was held, of the men of Worcestershire who fell in war. He fetched the windmill from the mayor`s parlour which is made out of shrapnel from the battle site of Gheluvelt 31st Oct 1914
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The plaque on the windmill
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Eric and Michael Stone
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The Legion d`honneur medal
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In the evening Eric came along to Worcester Branch meeting where Harry Massam, Chairman, presented Eric with a framed photo from the presentation at the Guildhall. Eric is now Worcester Branch`s newest recruit
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At Worcester Branch meeting Captain Dave Morgan RA of the Army Reserve Centre Worcester, was presented with a framed embroidered WFRA badge and a large bottle of 'Captain Morgan' rum
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The presentation was for Captain Morgan`s help and support over the years to Worcester Branch when the branch meetings were held at Dancox House TA / Army Reserve Centre
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