top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Royal welcome for our Frank

Chelsea Pensioner Frank Mouqué made the most of what could be his final trip to France to commemorate D-Day (see more: Armentières still remembered by D-Day hero)

Le Veteran Rouge, as many of his French friends call the 94-year-old former bomb disposal corporal, earned the Légion d’honneur, France’s award for service and bravery and has made the trip over the Channel for 25 years.

“I’ve been travelling to Normandy regularly to remember my fallen comrades but this was special as it will be the last trip for so many of us,” he said, adding: “I’ll go again if I’m able, though.

“My son Bryan and daughter-in-law Debbie were with me to make sure I didn’t get up to too much mischief!”

This year’s events started with a naval parade in Portsmouth, before sailing to France and an unexpected royal fanfare for Frank.

“I was whisked to Ouistreham to the Le Grand Bunker museum, where His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, of Monaco, was among the guests,” said Frank.

“He seemed to enjoy himself. Nice bloke.”

A mural dedicated to fallen soldiers was unveiled and after the ceremony, Frank was guest of honour at a party before attending services at Pegasus Bridge and Bénouville the following day.

“We took a fellow veteran, RAF man Norman Griffiths, to Carpiquet airport, near Caen, where he was stationed after D-Day. It was a wonderful trip, added Frank.”

This may, or may not, be Frank’s last visit to the beaches, where he is feted and loved by the locals, as he is still as energetic and charming as ever.

Frank was among the first Allied troops to storm Sword Beach.

After many bloody and ferocious battles to regain territory in the surrounding towns and countryside, his company spent more than a year in France as they fought their way east towards Germany. 

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now