Fareham veteran receives Legion D’honneur medal on day of funeral

The casket of Ron Walsh is brought into Portchester Crematorium
The casket of Ron Walsh is brought into Portchester Crematorium
  • D-Day veteran Ron Walsh, from Fareham, was given the Legion D’honneur medal on the day of his funeral
  • He had applied for the French honour but he died before receiving it
  • The French embassay gave permission for a fellow veteran who received two in error to pass one of his on to Mr Walsh.
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A VETERAN was honoured with a French medal for his part in the Second World War on the day of his funeral.

Ron Walsh was in line to be given the Legion d’honneur – the highest military honour which can be given by France – but died before he received it.

Ron Walsh

Ron Walsh

Yesterday at his funeral, the medal was laid on his casket after it was decided a veteran who received two in error could pass one on.

Ted Turner, from Purbook, got a Legion d’honneur at a ceremony in London earlier this year but was also posted one.

After seeking permission from the French embassy, on Saturday he was able to give his spare medal to Mr Walsh’s wife Jean for the service.

Mr Turner said: ‘I am glad in the end Ron got the medal he deserved.

I am glad in the end Ron got the medal he deserved

Ted Turner

‘It was good that eventually he received it.

‘I though it was disgusting by the French that it took that long for him to get one – it was terrible.

‘But the important thing is that he could move on with the medal and his family got to see him receive it.’

Mr Walsh, from Fareham, joined the Royal Navy during the Second World War and remained in the service until 1969. He served on 55 ships during his 33-year career in the Royal Navy, retiring as a Chief Petty Officer.

He was entitled to receive the Legion d’honneur after the French invited veterans to apply. But delays arose when more than 3,000 people applied for it.

At the funeral service, held at Portchester Crematorium, the White Ensign was draped over his casket which was carried in with a guard of honour from fellow veterans, including Mr Turner.

There were also white flowers which spelled out dad and grandad.

The Legion d’honneur medal was placed on the casket during the service. The second medal will be returned to Mr Turner and a medal in Mr Walsh’ sname will be sent out soon.

During the service, Mr Walsh was described as having good humour, quick wit and was a good character.

A picture montage of the 95-year-old’s life showed how much he loved spending time with his family and his pet dogs.

An extract from a poem written by Mr Walsh in 1942 called Laugh and the World Laughs With You was read out during the service.