Consett resident awarded France's highest honour
29 August 2016
A 91-year-old man from Hanover’s Maple Court housing complex in Consett, County Durham - who was born in the same year that Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell both won gold at the 8th Olympic Games in Paris - has received a prestigious decoration in recognition of his role in helping liberate France during the Second World War.
Robert Greggs received the Légion d'Honneur from French Ambassador Sylvie-Agnès Bermann at a ceremony in Leeds. The award was founded by Napoleon in 1802 and is regarded as among the first and most prestigious modern orders of merit in the world.
Born in 1924 in Tow Law, Derwentside, Mr Greggs worked as a butcher before being drafted into the Royal Artillery Service. He went on to fight at the Battle of Caen following the successful D-Day landings in Normandy, before taking part in the infamous Battle of the Bulge, the last major Nazi offensive undertaken against the Allies in World War Two. Following the war, Robert was posted to India for two years before he was demobilised in May 1947.
On receiving his award, Mr Greggs said: 'I feel really privileged to have had the chance to do my bit for Queen and country, but at the same time accept this wonderful accolade with a heavy heart as many of my friends and comrades weren’t lucky enough to return home.'
A keen reader and a man who likes to keep up with current affairs, Robert says that his favourite thing is to head on down to his local every night to meet up with mates and enjoy a couple of pints of Sam Smith's, his favourite tipple which he attributes to his youthfulness.