TRIBUTES have been paid to a Second World War veteran and recipient of France's top military honour, who has died aged 93.

Stan Pennington was awarded the Legion d'Honneur medal in October 2016for his bravery in the liberation of France, recognising his role in the D-Day Landings.

Stan was presented with his medal by the Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside, Anne Morris at Eccleston Court care home, where he resided.

The Legion d’Honneur is the highest decoration in France and is restricted to French and foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds.

Stan's life passions included rugby, poetry and gardening, with him known as a champion flower-grower.

He also had the distinction of having the Pilkington Horticultural Society Allotments on Alder Hey Road renamed in his honour, and Stan and his late wife Charlotte were both proud allotment holders there.

In 2016 the Stan Pennington Allotments won the North West Best Allotment Site award.

In a tribute, friends of Stan said: "Stan was nationally known as a prize dahlia grower – he raised many top show varieties and won numerous top awards at shows around the country.

"The Stan Pennington Allotments play an important role in our local community and contribute to a healthy lifestyle as well as being a social activity.

"Local organisations including St Helens Council Day Opportunities, Coalition of Disabled People and the Stroke Association manage their own busy allotments on the site growing a variety of fruit, veg and flowers.

"Local schools also share the love of gardening and the outdoors by managing their own busy plot."

St Helens Star:

The Stan Pennington Allotments won the award in 2016

After Stan had received his Legion d'Honneur, service manager at Eccleston Court Amanda Kelly, said: “Stan was so touched to have received the Légion d’honneur. He was called up to fight at just 17 years old, risking his life for our country.

"Hosting this wonderful celebration with his nearest and dearest was the least we could do to honour him. We are so incredibly proud!”

A funeral service is being held in memory of Stan at St Helens Crematorium tomorrow (Wednesday, September 19) afternoon from 12.30pm.

Stan was a keen poet with one of his works, shared by Stan's friends, copied below


I looked through my window and what did I see

the birds, the trees, the sky, the sea

my mind goes back to when I was small

of the games we played with bat and ball

the many games we played I did enjoy

and I still was only a very small boy

as I grew up to be a man

my world has changed as only it can

I went to war and what did I see

inhumanity to man as plain as could be

the years go by and what have we got

crime, muggings, drugs the lot

the years of life are passing me by,

I cannot believe or understand why

that we as a nation of colour and creed

should find happiness and love that we all need

we were given this planet upon our birth

we should all be thankful for this place

called earth