A FORMER schoolteacher has been recognised for his role in the D-Day landings after being officially presented with France’s top military award, the Legion d'Honneur.

Great-granddad-of-six, Dave Greenall from Moss Bank, was sent the award by French ambassador Jean-Pierre Jouyet, after his friend Eric Smith read an article in the Star last year about another veteran receiving the honour.

The two got in touch with the French government to see if 93-year-old Dave was eligible after having been a signaller during D-Day.

And they were pleased to receive France's highest military honour in the post.

Today, Friday, January 18, Dave, who lives at Pyes Garden Sheltered Housing, was presented with the award by St Helens North MP Conor McGinn, in the presence of centre staff and his friends.

Dave's Legion d'Honneur award 

Dave, a former school teacher at Merton Bank Primary School, said: "I am very happy to receive this award. I feel very proud. It was Eric who drew my attention to an article in the St Helens Star which concerned myself and my goings on and it so proved that I was able to tick the right boxes and qualify for this Legion of Honour.

"I’m very pleased to accept it and to see all the people here to see me accept it, thank you very much."

On presenting the award to Dave, St Helens North MP Conor McGinn, added: "I don’t get to do things like this very often, so I feel quite overwhelmed by it.

"You may have seen on your televisions and newspapers this week that there is a thing or two happening in Westminster at the minute and this is a great antidote to it if I’m honest.

"When Eric asked me to take part I just felt so humbled and honoured.

"We think we have challenges at the minute and in truth it is a difficult time for the country and there is a lot of uncertainty, but when I think about what you sacrificed and what your generation went through, your service for our country and the Royal Navy and the Atlantic convoys and D-Day, what we are going through at the minute pales into insignificance in comparison to that.

"I just feel honoured as the member of parliament for the people of this borough, who with your service have been able to thrive, and live and have families, and also as someone from my generation to thank you for what you’ve done and your generation has done. I know you’ve already been given the Atlantic Star but this is a hugely special honour which is the highest honour the French republic can send anyone, and to think that someone here in Moss Bank is receiving this award from France for your services, not just for this country but for France.

"It’s my very special honour to present to you the French Legion d’Honneur."

Conor McGinn presenting the award to Dave Greenall 

Dave also acts as a flag bearer at Pyes Garden, a role carried on from his time in the Royal Navy. Staff have described the war veteran as a "true gentleman".

Cllr Lynn Clarke, armed forces champion for St Helens Council, added: "It is an absolute privilege to meet people like Dave who gave up so much for everybody.

"It's a rewarding role I have to meet these brave people, hear their stories and say how grateful we are for their service.

"Dave has told me about his work on the convoys and it's a real honour to see him presented with his award today."