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Top honour for D-Day hero Francis Denvir as he turns 100

By Ed Carty

Published 20/10/2015

Bravery: Francis Denvir
Bravery: Francis Denvir

A D-Day veteran living in Ireland is to be bestowed with France's highest honour on his 100th birthday on Thursday.

Francis Denvir, originally from Glasgow, will have the Legion d'Honneur pinned to his chest in west Cork by the French ambassador to Ireland.

The former sergeant in a tank troop with the Irish Guards was in the second wave of landings in Normandy in June 1944.

His daughter, Adela Nugent, said: "He's absolutely thrilled. He was the type of man, like a lot of veterans of the war, who would say, 'Look it happened, you get on with it, don't talk about it'. He's a lovely gentleman, but I would say that, wouldn't I? He's a man who is definitely 'the glass is half full'."

Mr Denvir joined the Irish Guards in 1939, opting for them over a Scottish regiment because they had a Catholic priest.

He spent the early war years training tank drivers before joining the Normandy landings and leading a tank troop through northern France, into Belgium and to the epic Battle of Arnhem in the Netherlands, depicted in the film A Bridge Too Far.

He was severely injured by shrapnel to the head when his tank was blown up. Despite the limited rehab available, he learnt how to walk and talk again and went on to have eight children.

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