A Blyth man has spoken of his delight after being awarded France’s highest military and civil honour.
Ord Scott served as a radar operator aboard the HMS Frobisher – a Hawkins Class Royal Navy heavy cruiser – during the Second World War.
And the 91-year-old has now been recognised by the French Government with its Légion d’Honneur for his services in the Royal Navy at the Battle of Normandy in the summer of 1944.
His son, Malcolm, wrote to the British Ministry of Defence as he had heard that a number of Royal Navy personnel had received this award.
A great deal of information had been sought and verified by both British and French officials and the final decision was made by the French.
Ord said: “I’m really pleased to be awarded this honour and it was also nice to receive a congratulatory letter from the French Embassy thanking me for my military efforts that helped contribute to the liberation of France.”
The HMS Frobisher was deployed in March 1944 in the English Channel to take part in Operation Neptune.
Then on D-Day (June 6, 1944), it sailed with S6-force in the direction of Sword Beach and bombarded the German positions with its 7.5 inch guns in the Riva-Bella area.
It came under attack from German E Boats when assembling for this action. The ship provided Naval gunfire and assisted with the embarkation of the wounded.
On June 7, it again provided gunfire support during the Sword Beach assault and was slightly damaged by return fire from the shore.
HMS Frobisher supported the advance of the Allied land forces north of Caen, but after such heavy shelling, the ship then ran out of ammunition and had to return to Portsmouth for replenishment.
It was then deployed to assist at the construction of the famous Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches.
In July, the ship was attacked and bombed by a single aircraft that sadly killed a number of Royal Marines and wounded a number of other personnel. It was also attacked in Seine Bay the following month and seriously damaged by a long range circling torpedo fired by an enemy E Boat.
Following this, Ord was posted to Malta for his next ship – the Minesweeper HMS Clinton. He then served throughout the Mediterranean for the rest of the war on the Clinton, the Sea Salver (a salvage ship) and the LST 394, which was a tank landing ship.
After being demobbed following the war, Ord went back home and married Thelma in 1951. She died in 1991.
A formal presentation of the medal by the French Consulate is set to take place during a military ceremony at HMS Calliope on the Tyne.
Great grandfather from Blyth was a long-serving Co-op employee
Ord was born in Ridley Terrace, Cambois, in April 1926 and has lived in Blyth all of his life.
He left school at 14 and immediately started work as an errand boy for the Co-op at the small store that used to stand next to the Bebside Railway crossing.
Apart from his war service, he remained at the Co-op all of his working life for 49 years – becoming a manager of a number of stores until retiring in 1989.
He now lives in the Nye Bevan House sheltered housing complex in Blyth, where he has many friends, and he still regularly drives into Blyth for his shopping or to the Quayside for fish and chips.
Ord has a son and daughter, three grandchildren and two great grandsons, who are all very proud of him.