A WAR veteran is to be awarded the French Government’s highest decoration for his efforts during World War Two.

Les Holyome, 91, from Rayleigh will be officially presented with the Legion D’Honneur today by Rayleigh MP, Mark Francois, at the Royal British Legion Memorial Hall .

He is being presented the medal for work he did on D-day with the Royal Navy working on rocket ships as they travelled over to the south of France.

Mr Holyome actually received his medal last month, and was still overwhelmed about receiving it.

He said: “I’m very honoured to be recognised for my efforts. It’s something to be very proud of.

“It’s a lovely medal and I received a lovely letter from the French ambassador which said how grateful they were.

“The medal is currently residing in my presentation box with the other five medals that I have and I have also framed the letter.”

Mr Holyome went on to thank the Rayleigh Royal Legion and in particular, chairman Jim Hammond, for organising the presentation.

He added: It was very kind of Jim and I’m very thankful for it. I’m really honoured and proud for the branch.

“It’s a bit embarrassing really, I didn’t really want a huge fuss being made but it’s really lovely of them.

“I have a friend, Heidi, who I go out with quite a lot and she looks after me. She said to me, why don’t you go for this medal? And I received it about six weeks ago.”

Les volunteered for the Royal Navy at the age of 17 and he was called up soon after.

He was told to report to HMS Ganges after basic training and was posted to Hitchin to train as an electrician wireman/torpedo man.

Before the invasion started Les had been transferred from seaman branch and sent on three different commando courses.

Upon completion, he was drafted to LCTR 436, which was a Landing Craft Tank that had been converted to a rocket ship as an Electrician in charge of the firing of the rockets.

They headed down to the French coast and on arrival, the crew were ordered to take cover as a ship was cleared for firing rockets.

At the time, the vessel was being attacked from shore with one shell exploding alongside the stern of the vessel. Mr Holyome receiving shrapnel in the back of his right wrist and also in the left knee.

Les and the crew spent a lot of time under enemy fire, fighting their way through the coast and having to be wary of floating mines.

They then received the order to return to base at Messina, Italy before being returning home to Liverpool.