A NORMANDY veteran from Pickering has received France’s highest honour in recognition of his contribution to the Liberation of the country during the Second World War.

Kenneth Evans Scanlon was one of five men presented with the Légion d’Honneur at a ceremony at the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, near York, on Sunday.

The veterans were given the medal by Jeremy Burton, the French Consul to Yorkshire and the French Defence Attaché Contre Amiral Patrick Chevallereau.

The presentations were made as part of the museum's 31st International Allied Air Forces Memorial Day, which this year commemorated the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the first battle in history to feature dedicated military air campaigns.

A parade was led by the Yorkshire Military Band & Thirsk Royal British Legion Band Corps of Drums. The National and County/Region Standards of the Royal Air Forces Association, Royal British Legion and Royal Observer Corps Association led the 40 other regional Service Association and Squadron Standards presented on the day.

After taking a salute from the Lord Lieutenants of North and East Yorkshire, along with senior international air force representatives and other Civic Dignitaries from across the region and beyond, the parade led into the Drum Head Service in the main display Hangar, with the background of the Second World War Halifax bomber. The National Standards were laid over the Drum Head as a focal point for the Service.

A spokesman for the Yorkshire Air Museum said: "The event also featured spectacular flypast displays by the stunning Second World War Lancaster bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and, in a separate sortie, the Hurricane and Spitfire fighters provided a splendid finale to the event during the poignant ‘Sunset Ceremony’, which saw the Dipping of Standards, Lowering of the Ensign accompanied by the Evening Hymn.

"This was a grand and fitting occasion to reflect and remember all those who served for our freedom and security in many conflicts over the years.

"We were delighted that diplomatic representatives from France, Netherlands, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, South Africa and other nations were able to attend the event."