PROUD Quarry Bank war veteran Alf Dimmock has finally been presented with France’s highest military honour more than 70 years after his heroics.
Alf Dimmock, aged 91, was part of the regiment that landed on Sword Beach in Normandy on D-Day 2 on June 8 1944, and just four days later was shot through his right wrist during the infamous Battle of Villers-Bocage.
He was presented with the Legion d'Honneur by the French Honorary Consul Birmingham, Robert Mille, at Quarry Bank Labour Club earlier this month.
He said: “I’m very proud to receive this award. It is lovely. But I’m certainly not a hero as I was just doing my little bit for the effort.
“There were hard times but there were also good times back then and we just got on with it and did what we had to do.
“But I’ve never been back to France since and I don’t want to go back as there is no need to. There aren’t many of us left now and I’ve not seen any of my old friends for a long time.”
Sadly, his wife Hilda – whom he met after leaving the army in 1947 and married in Quarry Bank Church in 1952 – died eight years ago.
He said: “We never had any of our own children but I’ve got plenty of nephews and nieces and other family and they are all pleased and proud.”
Mr Dimmock, of Sheffield Street, joined the Royal Suffolk Regiment in 1943 and, after training he transferred to the Leicester Regiment.
He served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany during the Second World War. Mr Dimmock was hospitalised for three months after being shot before being transferred to the Queens Regiment where he also served in Palestine and Egypt.
The 'Chevalier de I'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur' joins his other military honours – the 1939-45 Star, the France and Germany Star 1939-45, the British War Medal and the Palestine 1945-48 Medal.
After leaving the army, Mr Dimmock worked in factories in Quarry Bank before retiring 27 years ago.
He remains a committed member of Quarry Bank Royal British Legion and helps with the annual Poppy Appeal and other fundraising activities.
Eric Homer, from Quarry Bank RBL, said: “He thoroughly deserves this medal. We first applied for it back in 2014 so it’s great that he has finally received it.
“He is a wonderful member of the legion, still works hard for us and I wish we had more like him.”