Death Of D-Day Veteran Just One Week After Being Awarded France’s Highest Honor

Only one week after receiving France’s Legion d’Honneur medal a D-Day veteran has died in Bradford, England after a sudden visit to the hospital.

Skipton resident Alan Brown, 92, was presented with the medal at Bradford Royal Infirmary due to an illness that would have precluded him from attending the formal ceremony scheduled at the golf club in town.

Even though he was weak, Mr. Brown donned his jacket and additional medals as Jeremy Burton, French honorary consul for Leeds, awarded him the Legion d’Honneur. The medal is in recognition for individuals who characterize themselves through military or civilian bravery.

Mr. Brown was only 18 in 1942 when he enlisted, serving in the Navy until one year after the war ended. During the Normandy landings, he was First Officer on Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB) 730, 720 and 708.

Following the invasion, he transferred Lord Ismay and Winston Churchill from Utah Beach on his MTB he commanded to Arromanches.

In 2014 the Russian government awarded him and five Craven veterans the Ushakov medal for his participation in delivering vital weapons and food to the Soviet Union during the war. Four of the men were awarded the medal at a later ceremony.

Mr. Brown’s daughter said everyone has gone beyond the call of duty. His receiving the Légion d’Honneur was a wonderful honor, and it meant very much to her father.

Mr. Brown retired in Yorkshire in 1986 and was a former official with the Yorkshire Ramblers Club. In addition, he was a past chairman of the Skipton U3A (University of the third age) and was involved in numerous local organizations, Craven Herald reported.

The awards were made possible by the Ministry of Defence that passed applications to the French government, reported the Telegraph and Argus earlier this year. Backlog difficulties meant re-submitting the applications. Over 2,400 awards have been made to date.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE