Peterborough war hero awarded France’s highest honour for service liberating the country

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall by French honorary consulate Jean-Claude Lafontaine EMN-170129-090821009
Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall by French honorary consulate Jean-Claude Lafontaine EMN-170129-090821009

A Peterborough war veteran has been awarded the Légion d’honneur for his service in the liberation of France in the Second World War

Proud Eddie Hall, of Gunthorpe, was presented with the prestigious accolade on behalf of the French government by Jean-Claude Lafontaine, the regional Consul Honoraire de France in the presence of Mayor of Peterborough Cllr David Sanders and Peterborough City Council Leader Cllr John Holdich.

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall  He was a radar operator on a PT boat EMN-170129-091013009

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall He was a radar operator on a PT boat EMN-170129-091013009

Mr Hall, now aged 91, was just a teenager when he took to the English Channel in his role as a Royal Navy able seaman positioned on a motor torpedo boat.

As a radar operator he was tasked with providing the war ships with protection from sea attack ahead of the D-Day landings in 1944.

Mr Hall said: “I remember being briefed on departure that we were going into action and some of us would return and some would not. My heart sank into my boots when I heard this however there was a job to be done.

“I spent my time below the deck of the torpedo boat operating the radar and on one occasion we intercepted a group of frogmen who were attacking larger war ships. All I could hear was the sound of guns going off and our captain shouting out orders.”

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall  He was a radar operator on a PT boat EMN-170129-090959009

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall He was a radar operator on a PT boat EMN-170129-090959009

The French government has been awarding the Légion d’honneur to D-Day veterans 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 Hall added: “I am very proud and very honoured to receive the award, the highest distinction given by the French government.”

Mr Hall has lived his life in Peterborough and married his wife Dorothy at St Mark’s Church, in Lincoln Road, Peterborough, in September 1945.

Now a great grandfather, Mr Hall spent 40 years working for Baker Perkins in Peterborough. He was a keen sportsman in his younger days and played for football, hockey and bowls clubs in the city.

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall by French honorary consulate Jean-Claude Lafontaine EMN-170129-090752009

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall by French honorary consulate Jean-Claude Lafontaine EMN-170129-090752009

The presentation took place at Peterborough Town Hall and Armed Forces Champion Councillor John Fox, Councillor Judy Fox and Peterborough City Council Chief Executive Gillian Beasley attended.

The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor David Sanders, said: “It’s an honour for Peterborough to host this ceremony on behalf of the French government.

“We owe our freedom and security to the dedication of heroes like Mr Hall because they were ready to risk their life to liberate their country and its allies from enemy forces.”

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall . He is pictured with Mayor David Sanders EMN-170129-090837009

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall . He is pictured with Mayor David Sanders EMN-170129-090837009

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall  with his wife Dorothy EMN-170129-090912009

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall with his wife Dorothy EMN-170129-090912009

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall  with his wife Dorothy on their wedding day EMN-170129-090941009

Legion of Honour medal presented to Eddie Hall (91) at Peterborough Town Hall with his wife Dorothy on their wedding day EMN-170129-090941009