Honoured by the Queen: MBE joy at last for chairman of D-Day landings veteran's group (From Gazette)
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Honoured by the Queen: MBE joy at last for chairman of D-Day landings veteran's group
10:21am Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
THE chairman of the Normandy Veterans’ Association has been made an MBE on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Great grandad Ed Slater, 89, from Colchester, has been made a Member of the British Empire at the second time of asking.
He is one of 1,000-plus dedicated and inspirational people to be included in the New Year’s honours list.
Mr Slater said: “I know some of my officers put me forward on the 65th anniversary, but someone else got it.
“I could not believe it when I got the letter this time.”
Mr Slater is the national chairman of the Normandy Veterans’ Association.
He first went to sea aged 15.
He said: “I was a proper tearaway and my dad got sick of the police bringing me home.
“I left school at 14 and joined the Merchant Navy at 15 and the Royal Navy when I was 18.”
Mr Slater served on the North Atlantic convoys during the Second WorldWar and was on HMS Thornborough patrolling the northern coast of France when it got the call to go to Normandy as part of the Allied invasion.
In 1986, Mr Slater set up the Colchester branch of the Normandy Veterans’ Association and, despite his failing eyesight, he has served as national chairman for seven years.
Mr Slater, who has the French Legion of Honour medal, said: “When we started the Colchester branch we had 216 veterans. Now we only have four.”
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