Barkingside war hero, 97, celebrates receiving France’s highest honour
PUBLISHED: 18:03 31 January 2017 | UPDATED: 18:03 31 January 2017
A 97-year-old veteran received France’s highest award for military and civil merits at a prestigious ceremony in central London today.
Accompanied by his wife of nearly 70 years Josephine and two daughters, Schera Morris Masters, 97, received the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur from the French ambassador.
The Lance Corporal was cut off behind enemy lines and surrounded by the German Army in 1940, forcing the soldier to flee to western France with fellow soldiers.
Today, in Kensington, he was presented the medal by the French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann, whilst his proud daughters, who had travelled from Canada and Australia, watched on.
The honour, established in 1802 by famed military leader Napoléon Bonaparte, comes 72 years after Mr Masters’ efforts helped liberate France in the Second World War.
Last week, Mr Masters told the Recorder that he was honoured to receive the unexpected award.
He said: “I was very surprised.
“I won’t be the only one, there will be others but I feel very proud.”
The veteran signed up for duty in June 1939 and was one of the first group of men to be conscripted.
In total the hero took part in five theatres of war – areas where important military events progress – British Expeditionary Force (BEF), Royal Army Service Corps, Middle East Force, Central Mediterranean Force and British Army of the Rhine.
“I supplied materials, ammunition, petrol whatever was needed at the front line, I had to take it up,” he continued.
“We covered every continent, every sea, under the sea and the skies all over the world, that is what the war was like.”
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