Friday, 19 June 2015

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


More than 100 veterans of the Second World War will this year be honoured at ceremonies across the country with France’s prestigious Legion of Honour award, which was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to acknowledge outstanding military accomplishments and other distinguished services to France.

Attending today’s ceremony in Sydney, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, paid tribute to those who fought for the Allied cause, especially those to be recognised by the French Government.

“Today, and over the next two months, we join together to acknowledge those veterans who contributed to the liberation of France during the Second World War.

“At this time, we are reminded of the enduring relationship between our nation and the French Republic – one that was forged during the First World War, firstly at Cape Helles on Gallipoli, and then on the battlefields of the Western Front, and which was later rekindled in the dark days of the Second World War,” Senator Ronaldson said.

More than 46,000 Australians were killed while fighting on the Western Front in both France and Belgium during the First World War.

In the Second World War, around the time of the D-Day landings in 1944, more than 2,500 Australians served on operations off the French coast, in French skies or on French soil, supporting the liberation of the French people.

“Each and every one of the 106 veterans who is to be honoured is deserving of France’s highest decoration, the Legion of Honour, for his or her efforts in the liberation of France during the Second World War.

“I too extend my appreciation to all those who served the Allied cause, many of whom are sadly no longer with us. All Australians, along with the people of France, honour your service,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Media enquiries:

Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203


Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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