Fight to honour terminally ill D-Day veteran

Cat Smith, Labour parliamentary candidate for Lancaster.

Cat Smith, Labour parliamentary candidate for Lancaster.

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LANCASTER MP Cat Smith has joined the fight to help D-Day landings veteran Russell Dunkeld receive a top honour before he dies.

Russell, 89, of Lancaster, has terminal cancer and his family is trying to get his Legion d’Honneur medal – France’s top honour – to recognise his bravery during the Second World War.

Widowed father-of-two Russell was just 18 when he took part in the D-Day landings and, aboard HM Landing Ship (tank) 304, was one of the first to arrive on French soil at Sword Beach on June 6, 1944.

Ms Smith has said she will contact the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in a bid to speed up the process for Mr Dunkeld and his family. County Coun Darren Clifford, champion for armed forces veterans, has written to the MOD and was told that they contacted the French authorities to inform them of Mr Dunkeld’s illness.