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Singing from the Heart of the Black Country
Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur
In 2005 the Choir took a party of 79 choristers and supporters on a 5-day concert tour in the Netherlands. As part of the trip we took the opportunity to visit Arnhem, pausing to visit and sing at the John Frost bridge over the River Rhine at Arnhem (see the picture above with Albert centre front). deemed "A Bridge Too Far", the scene of massive losses of allied forces in September 1944 Whilst in Arnhem, we also visited the Ooseterbeek British War Cemetery to pay our respects. On the evening before that visit, we learned that Albert had lost a comrade, Ernest Coggan in the fighting near Arnhem, and that he had never visited the area since those dark days. We were pleased to be able to help Albert locate Ernest’s grave, and the following pictures show the gravestone and Albert saluting the spot. In tribute,we sang Morte Criste at the entrance to the Cemetery. - This proved to be a very moving experience for all of the party.
We are pleased to announce that Second Tenor, Albert Evans has been awarded the Legion d’Honneur medal (the highest French order of merit for military service) The medal, pictured below is in recognition of his military service in helping to secure the freedom of France during the Second World War. Alongside the image of the medal is a photograph of the Citation received by Albert
Albert served with the Hampshire Regiment, and arrived in France during the D-day Landings in 1944, spending some time fighting near Avranches, before heading eastwards through France and Belgium into the Netherlands
I have the pleasure of informing you that the President of the Republic has appointed you to the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur
I offer you my warmest congratulations on this high honour in recognition of your acknowledged military engagement and your steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War
As we contemplate this Europe of peace, we must never forget the heroes like you who came from Britain and the Commonwealth to begin the liberation of Europe by liberating France. We owe our freedom and security to your dedication because you were ready to risk your life.
I am happy to enclose your insignia of Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur and once again offer you my heartfelt congratulations …………..