Former British soldier, M. McNaught Finlay, awarded La Légion d’Honneur [fr]
On Thursday 23 June 2016, Consul General of France in Johannesburg, Raymond QUEREILHAC, bestowed the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (Knighthood in the National Order of the Legion of Honour) upon one veteran of the Second World War – William McNAUGHT FINLAY.
British Wing Commander Kevin RAYNER, French Defense Attaché Colonel Monot and M. McNAUGHT FINLAY’s daughter, Ms Ailen SKELTON also attended the event.
This ceremony follows the President of the French Republic François Hollande’s decision, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June 2014, to honour foreign veterans of the Second World War.
Finlay, British national living in South Africa, was awarded for his participation in the Second World War.
William McNAUGHT FINLAY was born on 19 February 1922 in Glasgow, Scotland and joined the Royal Navy on 22 October, 1941.
He served on the destroyer HMS Fame on North Atlantic convoys between England, Canada and the USA, which was part of the support group in the English Channel which provided anti-submarine cover during the landings in Normandy on June, 6 1944.
The French Legion of Honour celebrates the accomplishments of distinguished individuals, irrespective of sex, social background and nationality.
The national order of the Legion of Honour was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. It is the highest decoration in France and is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). It was first awarded on July 14 1804.