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Former fire fighter to receive war honour


A D-Day veteran, who served Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) for 30 years, is being honoured by the French government.

Eighty-nine year old Jack Crawford, along with other surviving veterans from the Second World War, is being presented with France's highest distinction the Order National de la Legion d'honneur.

The Legion d'honneur was established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte and is awarded in recognition of both military and civilian merit.

On the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June 2014 the French President, Francois Hollande, announced that the Legion d'honneur would be awarded to all British veterans who fought for the liberation of France during the Second World War.

Jack joined the Royal Marines at just 17 years old on 3rd August 1943. Less than twelve months later, he joined Allied forces in their invasion of Nazi occupied France on 6th June 1944, D-Day.

The veteran served until 1946, when he left the army and joined the Metropolitan police.

He then moved to Gloucester in 1948 and joined GFRS in Stroud as a retained fire fighter. Following this, Jack took a position in operations control in Cheltenham, serving for 30 years before retiring in 1987.

As part of the Fire Service's Long Service and Good Conduct awards evening on 16th November, Madame Josette Lebrat from the French embassy will present Jack with his medal at Gloucester South Community Fire station.

Stewart Edgar, Chief Fire Officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We're here this evening to recognise the long service and good conduct of our county's firefighters.

"No-one epitomises this more than Jack, who was a member of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service for 30 years. He received his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal back in 1977 and is here tonight with his wife Edna who herself completed 20 years service,

"But today he receives recognition for his part in the D-Day landings, and rightly so. I'm am truly honoured that Jack is a part of this evening and full of admiration for his extraordinary life."

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member responsible for fire, said: "Jack has given his entire working life to serving the public and this recognition is a tribute to that.

"He fought on the front line in the Normandy landings,  then selflessly devoted his life to protecting members of the public firstly in the police force and then with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

"I am full of respect and admiration for him, along with all his colleagues, and am proud to see his efforts recognised here tonight."

Along with the prestigious medal, Jack and other veterans are also awarded the title of Chevalier (Knight).

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