A 94-YEAR-OLD D-Day Veteran from Winsley received the Legion D'Honneur medal from the French Ambassador last week.

Tony Kemmery, of Broomground, Winsley, was an Airborne Medic attached to the sixth Parachute Bridge and was sent in to capture Pegasus Bridge in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Mr Kemmery, who has lived in Winsley for nearly half a century, was delighted to receive the medal, which is the highest French order for military and civil merits, in the post in late May.

"It is a real honour to receive this very special medal. I am very pleased because it was quite a big event in my life and to come from the French is lovely," said Mr Kemmery, who lives with his wife Sylvia.

On his 21st birthday exactly, him and 16 comrades flew in by Horsa glider a few hundred yards away from the bridge, taking the Germans by surprise.

"Not many people have a birthday quite like that," said Mr Kemmery, who joined the army at age 19 in 1942 whilst he was training to be a pharmacist.

"We were in the medical unit and sheltered in a ditch whilst the military took the bridge and established a base on the river Orn near the village of Ranville.

"Even though that lasted a few hours, little did we know we would be gridlocked there for the next three months under shell and mortar fire.

"Surprisingly morale was very good. We took it like we were on holiday for some strange reason. We were also quite lucky as the Germans generally respected the Red Cross so they left us pretty much alone."

After the war, Mr Kemmery was stationed in Jerusalem until 1947 as a medical pharmacy apprentice at its 16th general hospital before spending the remainder of his working life in pharmacist roles in and around Calne, Bath and Bristol.

"I very much enjoyed my time in the army. The travelling, the comradeship and spending two Christmases in Bethlehem was not bad either," he said.

"We returned home from the war on V-E day and I remember thinking, 'I guess that it is then' but next thing I know, within a month im off to the middle east but that was quite a wonderful time."