In recent months we have been pleased to be able to host presentations of the Legion d'honneur medal to Second World War veterans by a representative of the French goverment. This page provides some information that may be of interest to veterans and their families who would like to arrange similar presentations.
The Legion d'Honneur is France's highest decoration, and in 2014 the French government announced that it would award the medal to any Second World War veterans who took part in the Liberation of France in 1944 who wished to apply for it. For more information click here and here. Veterans need to have applied for and received the actual medal in the post before they can arrange for the medal to be formally presented to them. Also please avoid mounting the Legion d'honneur alongside other medals before the ceremony: it needs to still be separate.
Generally veterans receive the medal in the post, to ensure that it gets to them as soon as the process of issuing the award has been completed. Along with the medal, veterans receive a list of honorary French consuls who can be contacted if the veteran wishes to arrange a formal presentation ceremony. It is up to the veteran or their family/friends to arrange the venue for the presentation and to liaise with the relevant honorary French consul (we are only one of many possible venues for these ceremonies - other museums, town halls etc. are all possibilities).
Above: Veterans after being presented with the Legion d'honneur medals at the D-Day Museum, December 2015.
On several occasions, families of veterans have asked us if they can hold a Legion d'honneur presentation ceremony at the D-Day Museum. Each time, once the date has been arranged, we have invited along other veterans who also wish to have their medals presented.
If you would like to arrange a Legion d'honneur presentation ceremony at the D-Day Museum, or have any other queries, please get in touch with us. It would be useful if you can give the veteran's name and the unit in which they served in 1944-1945. Please note that the veteran's 'place' at the ceremony will be confirmed by the honorary French consul, who keeps the 'master list' of those attending. We can liaise with the consul in the first place if you like. We can host presentation ceremonies, but are not involved in the process of awarding the medals and cannot assist with enquiries relating to veterans who are waiting to receive them.
Generally family and friends are welcome to come to the event, but please let us know in advance how many people would like to come. This is simply to ensure that the number of people there does not exceed the capacity of the room as given to us by the fire officer.
As part of the ceremony, a relative or friend is invited to speak for 1-2 minutes describing the veteran's wartime service.