Frank Mouqué is a 91-year-old British World War II veteran who fought in the Battle of Normandy where he helped liberate Armentières, France, 72 years ago. He was able to revisit that town without leaving his home.
Using a virtual reality headset, he was able to feel like he’d been taken back to that town. It was part of a ceremony that included greetings from local school children and a medal of honor from the town’s mayor, Bernard Haesebroek.
Haesebroek recognized Mouqué as a hero. He said Mouqué’s courage, actions and bravery helped to free the town. After the presentation, he was handed the Medal of Armentières. Mouqué had no words to describe the moving VR presentation. He said the medal would be a treasured heirloom. Corporal Mouqué was a sapper, laying and defusing mines and constructing and destroying bridges.
“It was chaos,” Mouqué said of the 1944 battle. “We were bombed, shelled, sniped, fired at, constantly. There were quite a lot of casualties. I lost a lot of my friends, one way or another.”
Mouqué lives at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the 300-year-old home for British army veterans, The Huffington Post reported.
Colonel Simon Bate is the adjutant of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. He said that is meant a “tremendous amount” that the people of Armentières would remember Mouqué’s service in the war. “We need to make sure that the sacrifices of those lost in war are never forgotten.”
Mouqué gave his thanks for the award, not just for himself, but for everyone who served with him.