D-Day veteran appeals for return of war medal

John Baker lost his medal during a D-Day event

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A 93-year-old veteran of the Normandy landings has asked for help to return a medal which he lost while attending D-Day commemorations in London.

John Baker is hoping to be reunited with the Legion D’Honneur medal - the highest award handed out by the French Government – before he visits war graves in France next week.

He lost the medal while attending a memorial event on-board HMS Belfast on the River Thames last week.

“It was such a lovely day to visit HMS Belfast for the anniversary of D-Day but unfortunately for me it had a very unhappy ending,” he said.

“I was so proud to receive the Legion d'Honneur because I wasn't just accepting it for me but for all those who didn't make it back or weren't alive to get their own.”

Mr Baker signed up in 1942 and served across Europe and Africa until he was discharged in 1950.

He then joined the Merchant Navy and ended his working life as a school caretaker in Gosford.

He has lost his sight from age-related macular degeneration, and has been supported by Blind Veterans UK for the past decade.

The charity’s chief executive, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin, said he hoped the medal could be found.

“As soon as we heard that the medal had gone missing we returned to the ship to search for it but, unfortunately, it wasn't found,” he said.

“We hope that John's treasured medal can be found but we will ensure that a replacement medal is presented if not.”

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