TWO former servicemen have proudly received France's highest honour in a special ceremony hosted by the Mayor of Bournemouth.

Bill Phillips, 96, and Walter Cull, 94, were invited to enjoy afternoon tea at the Mayor's Parlour in the Town Hall on Wednesday, January 25 with their families.

The gentlemen were also each presented with the Legion d'Honneur by Josette Lebrat, the French Honorary Consul for the south west, who described it as an 'honour and a privilege' to attend the event, with assistance from the mayor, Cllr Eddie Coope.

Bill served as a stretcher bearer with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Hampshire Regiment and was mentioned in dispatches for his brave conduct. His daughter, Susan, said: "When he first got his medal he was chuffed to bits and extremely proud."

He was also joined by his son, Raymond, and his wife, Phyllis, while his wife, Elizaabeth, who he married in 1951, and his other two sons, Alan and Colin, were not able to attend.

Walter, who is known to loved ones as Wally, was called up for National Service in 1942 and worked as a motor transport driver and dispatcher. Speaking about his time in the army, Walter said: "I did what many others did, but I was very lucky to return to England safe and sound. Those who died will never be forgotten."

He was joined by his daughter, Teresa West, and his granddaughters, Lucy Cribb and Laura Abbott, with her husband, Mark.