FALKLANDS veteran turned charity campaigner Simon Weston has spoken of his pride after being made a CBE in the New Year’s Honours.
The Welsh Guardsman was horrifically injured on board HMS Sir Galahad when she was hit by an Argentine missile at Bluff Cove during the Falklands War in 1982.
Mr Weston, who already has an OBE, said he was stunned when he found out last month that he was to be awarded a CBE.
‘I was so proud and it came as a complete surprise,’ he added.
‘My mother was very happy too and I think she found it hard not being able to tell anyone until the New Year’s Honours was made public.
‘To be given the CBE for charity work means a great deal to me because it’s something that I have been very passionate about over the past 33 years.
‘I still have to pinch myself: I’m just a boy from a coal mining village in the valleys.’
A D-Day veteran who for years has organised pilgrimages to Normandy to remember fallen comrades has been honoured by being made an MBE.
George Batts, 90, the ex-national secretary of the now-disbanded Normandy Veterans’ Association, said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ by the award.
Mr Batts, from Maidstone, Kent, was just 18 when he waded ashore Gold Beach in Normandy with the Royal Engineers on June 6, 1944.
The grandfather-of-two is one of the dwindling band of brothers, now in their late 80s and 90s, who each year cross the English Channel to return to Normandy’s beaches and cemeteries to remember lost friends.
Speaking of his MBE, Mr Batts said: ‘It means a hell of a lot to me, not only to recognise the work I’ve done over the years but my aim in life is that the Normandy veterans are never forgotten’
Other notable figures to be praised include veteran actress Barbara Windsor who has been awarded a damehood in the New Year’s Honours, while sports commentator Sue Barker and Hollywood star Idris Elba both received an OBE.