A veteran gets new award
Rotarian Paddy receives the Legion d"™Honneur award.
Sandbach Rotarian, Albert (“Paddy”) Paddock, who took part in the D-Day landings in June 1944, has recently received the Legion d’Honneur. France’s highest military honour has been presented to British veterans in recognition of their role in the country’s liberation in WW2.
Paddy joined the Royal Navy on 5th June 1943 but was later transferred to Combined Operations and seconded to a forward observation bombardment unit. He was now wearing Army khaki with Royal Navy shoulder flashes as a Telegraphist, R.N.
On D-Day he landed on Juno Beach with Le Regiment de la Chaudiere, a French Canadian regiment from the province of Quebec, Canada, with an Army Captain, a Sergeant and a Second Telegraphist. They set up a control to communicate with warships offshore, hoping that their grid references and Morse code were accurate enough to control the flight of the shells.
On the following day Paddy was caught up in a fire fight. The jeep in which he was travelling was flamed by an incendiary and he also received a gunshot wound to his right leg. He was eventually transferred to a hospital at Epsom and then, later, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. He was finally discharged as medically unfit for further duty on 25th January 1946. Paddy said, “I had a great 20th birthday in hospital!”
Paddy, whose devoted wife Kathleen died earlier this year, has reached the grand age of 92 and still attends the Rotary Club of Sandbach regularly. He joined the club in 1977 and was President in 1986.
John Higgins (Publicity Officer)