A SECOND World War veteran from Penarth has been presented with the Légion d’honneur for risking his life during the liberation of France.

The French war medal was presented to Arthur Parish, 99, by Lt Col Andrew Tabor, High Sheriff of Gloucester at the Millbrook Lodge Care Centre in Gloucester where the veteran now lives.

Mr Parish is originally from Penarth but moved to Gloucester just two years ago to be nearer his family, including his daughter, granddaughters and two great granddaughters.

During his 97 years in Penarth, Mr Parish was involved in many areas of the community including the Penarth branch of the Royal British Legion, Trinity Methodist Church and Windsor Bowls Club.

The French government has been awarding the special Légion d’honneur medal to D-Day veterans for several years as a way of honouring those who fought for France’s liberation during the Second World War.

Since June 2014, more than 5,000 Légion d’honneur medals have been awarded.

Mr Parish served in the Royal Army Medical Corp (R.A.M.C.) from 1940 to 1946.

In 1944 he was deployed to northern France as part of the Normandy Landings and Operation Overlord.

He arrived on Gold Beach on June 10, 1944 where he was assigned an ambulance and was tasked with ferrying injured soldiers away from the front line.

The great grandfather said: "It really is very nice to have this recognition, especially after all of these years. I really wasn’t expecting anything like this, not at my age.

"It all happened such a long time ago now but it never leaves you. This medal has triggered many memories for me."

His daughter Elizabeth Gillespie, 66, added: "We are all so proud of dad and of all the men and women of his generation who sacrificed so much during the Second World War.

"I don’t think any of us will ever truly understand or appreciate what dad, and all the other young men fighting alongside him, went through.

"This medal is a very touching tribute from the French Government and one I know dad will cherish."

After being demobilised in 1946, Mr Parish returned home to Penarth and worked at the old Price Brothers factory on Station Road for 22 years.

He had previously done his apprenticeship there between 1934 to 1939.

He married his wife Marie in 1949 and they welcomed their daughter Elizabeth in 1950.

Mr Parish later worked as caretaker at Trinity Methodist Church.