Geoffrey Lawrence

Medal worn by a Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'Honneur.

 

We are pleased to report that BTPHG member Geoffrey Lawrence, a retired BT Police Officer, has been appointed a Chevalier of the ‘Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur’ (Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour) by the French Government.

The presentation was undertaken by the Rear Admiral Patrick Chevallereu and the French Air Attaché Colonel Patrice Morand at the Yorkshire Air Museum on Sunday 21st February 2016.

The honour is of the highest distinction awarded by France in recognition of both military and civil merit.

In Geoffrey’s case the service he rendered leading to the liberation of France in June 1944, constitutes the purpose of the award. As a private and infantryman with the 7th Battalion of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Normandy from June 1944 until severely wounded by machine-gun fire during a silent attack on German frontline positions near St Syvain on August 10, 1944. After he recovered from his wounds he was transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps.

French President Francois Hollande announced during the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Normandy landings that France would give its highest honour to all surviving veterans who fought for the liberation of France during the Second World War.

Mr Lawrence held the rank of Chief Superintendent, Divisional Commander, North East, on retirement 1981.

Geoffrey Lawrence’s Service History is as follows:

1943 – 45 Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders (wounded in action Normandy)
1944 – 46 RASC Egypt, Palestine, Cyprus
1951 – 81 British Transport Police – serving at Huddersfield, Norwich, Nottingham, Birmingham and Leeds.

In retirement Geoffrey was the first Co-ordinator of the Leeds Victim Support Scheme.

He has written and published his autobiography titled –  “An Incident Occurred”.

Contre Amiral Patrick Chevallereau presenting the Legion d'Honneur, Frances's highest award to Geoffrey Lawrence from Bradford at the Yorkshirein Air Museum. Picture: Richard Doughty Photography

Rear Admiral Patrick Chevallereau presenting the Legion d’Honneur to Geoffrey Lawrence.

yorkshire-wartime-veterans-2016-11

The twelve Normandy Veterans who were presented with the Legion d’Honneur

Source: The Yorkshire Air Museum
Pictures: Richard Doughty Photography

Webmaster’s Note:
This blogpost updates and replaces an earlier post which proved to be inaccurate in several respects.
Thanks to Colin Sinclair for additional research.

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