SIXTY years after taking part in the Battle of Arnhem, Frank Kosztolowicz has been honoured by the Dutch government.

The 83-year-old, of Avenue Road, Trowbridge, was a member of the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade which fought to liberate the Dutch in 1944.

Although the battle of Arnhem was lost, the Germans were unable to prevent an ultimate victory by the allies.

In May this year, the surviving veterans of the brigade gathered in The Hague to receive The Order of William, The Netherlands' highest military honour, in recognition of their efforts.

Mr Kosztolowicz was unable to attend so a representative from the Dutch Embassy travelled from London to personally thank him last Friday.

Dick Wip, assistant to the defence attach at the Netherlands Embassy made a special visit to Mr Kosztolowicz's daughter's home in West Ashton to present the award.

He said: "The government and Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands wanted to honour these people. It was one of the wishes of the late Prince Bernhard that this brigade be awarded.

"This happened in May where Polish veterans were invited to the ceremony in The Hague.

"It was impossible to find everyone who took part and there was another ceremony held in Russia. Then we found Frank so we took the initiative to come and thank him personally.

"We've given the certificates to 65 Polish veterans. It is extremely important that they are recognised."

Mr Kosztolowicz said he was very honoured and happy to receive the award and was delighted Mr Wip had come personally to present it. He will also receive a remembrance medal.

His daughter Danka Blais said: "It makes me very proud. It's the highest honour that The Netherlands bestow on people."

Mr Kosztolowicz moved to Britain after the war and went to live in Scotland. After meeting his wife Vicky he moved to Bradford, in Yorkshire, before moving to Steeple Ashton. The couple have two daughters.

The battle of Arnhem was part of Operation Market Garden, in the Second World War.

It was immortalised in the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far, directed by Richard Attenborough and featuring a stellar cast, including James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Dirk Bogarde and Laurence Olivier.

In the battle British and Polish units were parachuted in to secure the bridge at Arnhem but many never made it as the troops encountered heavy resistance from the Germans.