Retired Nottinghamshire Chief Superintendent Denis Silverwood, 92, has been awarded the French Republic’s greatest honour - being appointed a Knight of the Order of the Légion d’honneur.
The honour which was instituted by the Emperor Napoleon, has been awarded to surviving veterans of the Second World War on the order of the French President.
Written on the medal from the French Embassy it states: “…we must not 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.”
In 1942 Mr Silverwood volunteered for service in the Royal Navy and attended the Butlin’s holiday camp at Skegness - which had been converted into His Majesty’s Naval Establishment Royal Arthur.
At 17-years-old Mr Silverwood was posted to HM Minesweeper MMS 218 - a small warship made of wood.
Mr Silverwood played a part in D Day as he was on one of the ships responsible for clearing the channel of high explosive mines.
He said : “We didn’t have it as bad as the soldiers though.”
After the war in 1946 he joined the Nottingham City Police in which his own father, an ex Royal Marine was serving.
Mr Silverwood served on the beat in Hyson Green, Bulwell, Basford and Carrington.
PC Rob Phillips from Nottinghamshire Police said: “I speak on behalf of Nottinghamshire Police when I say we’re incredibly proud of Mr Silverwood and his achievements.
“In the service of his country Chief Superintendent Denis Edwin Silverwood QPM was awarded the following recognition for his service to his country by King and Queen alike – Mine Sweeper Good Conduct Badge, the Europe Star, the France and Germany Star, the War Medal, the Defence Medal with Mention In Despatches, Queens Silver Jubilee Medal, the Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Queens Police Medal (QPM) and latterly upon the order of the President of France, the Légion d’honneur.”