French medal delights war hero Terry (91)

Terry with family, friends and Mayor of Peterborough John Peach

Terry with family, friends and Mayor of Peterborough John Peach

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The highest decoration in France was last week awarded to a 91-year-old hero of the Normandy landings who now lives in a care home.

Sergeant Terry Sismore was surrounded by family and friends, including wife Doreen, as he received his “little beauty” - the ‘Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur’ - for his contribution towards the liberation of France in 1944.

Terry (far left) on service in Germany

Terry (far left) on service in Germany

Terry, formerly of Eye, but now a resident at the Garden Lodge Residential Care Home in Glinton, was presented with the medal on behalf of the French government by Mayor of Peterborough Cllr John Peach, alongside mayoress Janet Martin and members of the Fenland and District Royal Military Police Association.

The Legion of Honour was created by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, and on the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June 2014, French President Francois Hollande announced that it would be awarded to all British veterans who fought for the liberation of his country during the war.

Terry was just 18 when he took part in Operation Overlord, landing on Gold Beach in Normandy on June 8, 1944, two days after the operation began on D-Day, and immediately found himself under heavy fire from German guns.

It was the role of the Royal Military Police to guide troops as they advanced into Germany. Even now Terry can still remember the sound of fighter aircraft above and not knowing whether they were British or German: “It was airplanes that’s all we knew about it. But we were not all that bothered as we were used to it.”

Terry was proud to receive his fifth medal for his service and said “That was great. It was a really good party.”