War veteran from Matlaske receives top honour

From left to right Mr March's daughter Marion Shepherd, (black dress), John Hayes MP For Spalding (b

From left to right Mr March's daughter Marion Shepherd, (black dress), John Hayes MP For Spalding (blue tie), Mr March's wife Ruth March (patterned jacket), Chanelle Shepherd (young girl - Mr March's granddaughter), Mr March's son-in-law Jim Shepherd, (blue tie) Donald March and Jean-Claude Lafontaine (bow tie). - Credit: submitted

A war veteran has been presented with a top miliary award for his role in the second world war.

Donald William March, from Matlaske, near Holt, was given the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur, France's top military honour, at a special ceremony in Spalding held on Saturday, January 23.

Mr March, now aged 90, was presented with the award by honorary french consul Jean-Claude Lafontaine, along with another veteran, Tom Fowler aged 96.

Mr March was a member of The Royal Observer Corps, Seaborne Division (attached to the navy) in the second world war.

Aged just 17, he helped allied forces taking part in the second wave of the D-Day landings in 1944 using only binoculars to identify both allied and enemy aircraft.

Mr March's daughter Marion Shepherd, said: 'Donald didn't speak to his family, or anyone about his experiences with Seaborne, but has been a long term member of the ROC Association since and much appreciates all of their work and also in keeping the members communicating with one another.

'Of the brave 796 volunteers of Seaborne, he is one of only a handful of men, still with us today. He is a very modest man but is very thankful to our French allies for remembering and honouring him and is very proud to represent the Seaborne division of the Royal Observer Corps, in accepting this high honour.'

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