Three Wisbech war heroes have had their courage recognised in a moving ceremony at the Council Chamber last night (Monday) when they were granted the Freedom of the Town.
Opening the ceremony mayor Councillor Steve Tierney said: “These men are heroes in every sense of the word.”
All three are D-day veterans and recipients of the French medal Ordre National de la Legion d’honneur’ - France’s highest honour - for their role in the Normandy landings and the liberation of Europe in the Second World War.
Gerald Fleming, 98, - Gerry - joined the Army in 1937 in Hull and became part of the transport division and served in the 8th Army.
John, 93, was drafted into the army in June of 1943 at the age of 19. He served in the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry.
Ronald Sanderson, 91, - Ron as he is affectionately known - enlisted into the army on January 6, 1944, age 17½ at King’s Lynn. He served in the 11th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers
The heroic trio received a standing ovation from the packed Council Chamber after they were sworn in as Freemen. Coun Tierney and his mayoress Marie then presented each with a commemorative plaque and certificate.
All three saw some of the fiercest fighting as they fought their way up through Europe participating in some of the most infamous battles including the Battle of Bulge and Montecassino.
Their stories were carefully researched by Jessie Tindale, with the help of Leonard Veenendaal, who interviewed the three, and urged the town council to award them the honour of the Freedom of Wisbech.
Both were present to watch the ceremony and Leonard commented: “This is a fantastic evening, they really do deserve this honour.”