Charlie Hill

In memory of D Day veteran, Charles Hill who passed away last week, we are reposting our news story from 15 May when he was presented with the Legion d’Honneur as part of Richmond Sunday…

The peace and quiet of Richmond’s Friary Gardens is a very long way from the D Day beaches of 72 years ago, but the two were brought a little closer when former Green Howard,  Charlie Hill was presented with the Legion d’Honneur.

Private Charles Hill landed on Gold Beach with the 6th Battalion The Green Howards at 07:30hrs on 6 June 1944, and fought his way inland.  A minor head wound led to him being evacuated to England, but he returned to France; finally getting home in 1948.

chill2Colonel Antoine de Loustal, French Military Attache to the UK, presented 90 year-old Charlie with his medal as part of the weekend’s Richmond Sunday event, which saw hundreds of former Green Howards visiting the town to catch up with old friends and remember their comrades.

“This Legion d’Honneur awarded to Charles Hill is not only a thank you to the men who were ready to give their lives to liberate us.  It is also a message: we shall not forget, we shall never forget,” said Colonel de Loustal.  “Many thanks for what you did alongside all your fellow Green Howards brothers in arms.  May your commitment, your bravery and your spirit of fraternity continue to act as an example and source of inspiration for all of us.”

The French government announced its intention to award all surviving veterans of the Normandy landings and the wider campaign to liberate France with the Legion d’Honneur as part of the D Day 70th anniversary commemorations in 2014.

Charlie Hill features in one of our brand new ‘Portrait of the Regiment’ profiles on the first floor of the museum.