Patient is honoured with D-Day medal at Malton Hospital

Date: 28 June 2024

george jackson

Ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday 29 June 2024, the Fitzwilliam Ward at Malton Hospital recently hosted one of their patients as he was presented with the Legion D’honneur medal for his involvement in the D-Day landings. The ward is run by Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, and staff, along with the patient’s family and a number of officials came together to award George Jackson of Welburn this prestigious honour.

At the age of 20, Sergeant George Jackson was among the first wave of soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy with his Royal Engineers regiment and received this medal for his part in the liberation of France during the Second World War. Now aged 100, George is still able to remember the events 80 years ago, but did not speak about his experiences until 2014.

George was moved to have received this medal, and insisted he stand to receive the honour from Brigadier General Armel Dirou, of France’s Armée de Terre.

The National Order of the Legion of Honour was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The order is the highest military and civil decoration in France. While membership in the Légion is technically restricted to French nationals, foreign nationals who have served France may receive the honour.

In attendance on the day, were members of George’s family as well as the Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire Camphill.

On receiving this honour, George was modest about his role. He said: “I’d better stand up, I’m only a sergeant!

“I was only doing the job we’d been asked to do, I’m not a hero. It’s such a surprise for this to happen. Thank you to the Brigadier General and everyone for arranging this. It is an honour.”

Brg. Gen. Armel Dirou said: “In giving this award we do not recognise rank. This is the highest award in France to express our gratitude for your bravery in liberating our country. I have seen active combat, but it does not compare to what you faced and the courage you showed under heavy fire. The nation of France thanks you.”

Janet Howe, Fitzwilliam Ward Manager, was instrumental in arranging for this unique event to take place while George was under their care at Malton Hospital. Janet said: “It was our pleasure to be able to facilitate this for George. It is a hugely emotional memory that George holds from the D-Day landings, and it was important to ensure this honour was delivered to him in a safe and comfortable environment.”

  • Summary:

    The Fitzwilliam Ward at Malton Hospital recently hosted one of their patients as he was presented with the Legion D’honneur medal for his involvement in the D-Day landings.

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