World War II veteran receives French war honour

Cpl Alfred Barlow receives the Legion d’Honneur
Cpl Alfred Barlow receives the Legion d’Honneur

A World War II veteran has received the Legion d’Honneur from the French Consulate at an awards ceremony at Stockport Town Hall.

Cpl Alfred Barlow was given the honour 73 years after he helped to liberate France during the Second World War.

Flanked by his old comrades, family and friends, Alfred was presented with the Legion d’Honneur by the French consulate, Monsieur Rodolphe Soulard.

The Legion d’Honneur is the highest honour that the French Government can confer on a foreign national with Alfred recognised for his efforts in the Normandy campaign.

At the age of 22, in June 1944, Alfred landed on Sword beach with his regiment The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

Alfred’s responsibility was to ensure military vehicles remained mobile and were recovered and repaired if necessary.

He also actively participated in Operations Charnwood and Goodwood.

Alfred returned to England and married Maisie, and worked in Cheadle Hulme for William Arnold on Rolls Royce and Bentley cars. Alfred and Maisie moved to Romiley where Alfred started his own garage.

Alfred started the RESCARE charity that provided care and accommodation for those with mental health difficulties in the south Stockport area.

Cllr Chris Gordon, the Mayor of Stockport, said: “This is an incredible honour and a source of great pride for not only Alfred and his family, but the citation read by the French Honorary Consul also recognised the part played in the conflict by his comrades in the Normandy Veterans’ Association.

It is especially meaningful for the Borough of Stockport to have amongst our citizens the recipient of France’s highest honour.”