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Penybanc resident awarded Legion d’ Honneur

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Howard Francis and family: With Jonathan Edwards MP

Howard Francis and family: With Jonathan Edwards MP

A PENYBANC resident has been awarded France’s most prestigious military decoration, following urgent representations to the French Embassy and the MoD. 

Howard Francis was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, in recognition of his role in the invasion of Normandy in 1944, by Jonathan Edwards MP at Glangwili Hospital.

President Hollande announced on the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion to award the Legion d’Honneur, France’s most prestigious decoration, to all veterans who participated in the D-Day invasion which led to the liberation of France. Fighting in the campaign, Mr Howard Francis was injured on August 27, 1944, during combat fighting for the Worcestershire Regiment.

The Legion d’Honneur was established by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802 and is the highest French order for military and civil merit.

Mr Francis Howard, who has been taken ill, and his family worked closely with Links, a Llanelli based charity that works closely with ex-service personnel across South West Wales, but were told that following a large number of requests there was a significant backlog in the distribution of the award.

Following a significant deterioration in Mr Francis’ health, his family and Links contacted Jonathan Edwards MP, who made urgent representations to the Secretary of State for Defence, and the French Ambassador, Sylvie Bermann, and within hours, the French embassy confirmed that the medal would be fast-tracked.

The family of Mr Francis requested that Jonathan Edwards MP kindly presented the Medal to their father during a stay at hospital. The small personal presentation took place on Monday (Aug 8) on Towy Ward at West Wales General Hospital.

Jonathan Edwards MP said: “It is an absolute honour to present Mr Francis with the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest decoration, in recognition of his role in D-Day as part of the liberation of France.

“Having read reports of Mr Francis’ role in the campaign, I find it almost impossible to fathom the sacrifice and courage of servicemen and women like Mr Francis in the war. Servicemen and women like Mr Francis fought to help create a better world for us all and we must never forget the sacrifices that they made to achieve this.

“I am delighted and truly privileged to be here with Mr Francis to share in this moment, and to have been able to assist Mr Francis in receiving the recognition that he deserves. I would like to thank Ambassador Bermann and the French embassy for their efforts and the speed with which the embassy assisted Mr Francis and his family, ensuring that Mr Francis received the recognition that he deserves.”

Links, a charity that works with ex-service personnel, added: “LINKS has been running for over 20 years and currently works with 120 people throughout the county. One of the newer pieces of work is the service provided for veterans, funded by the Big Lottery. This service alone works with around 50 individuals through a variety of ways including NAAFI mornings and activities such as fishing and bowling.

“The veterans’ service, Combined Forces, has just received a further award from the Big Lottery of £418,312 to further extend our services for veterans.

“We also have a buddy scheme, including a telephone service for those members who are housebound or live in remote parts of the county. This is how we met Mr Francis, who has been supported by LINKS volunteer Buddy Chris Hill.

“We are extremely grateful that Mr Francis has been able to receive this deserved honour and I am grateful for the help given by My Jonathan Edwards MP who ensured the medal’s safe passage to Wales.”

Accompanying the medal, Ambassador Bermann wrote: “I offer you my warmest congratulations on this high honour in recognition of your acknowledged military engagement and your steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War.

“As we contemplate this Europe of peace, we must never forget the heroes like you, who came from Britain and the Commonwealth to begin the liberation of Europe by liberating France. We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Witness appeal after car is stolen and burnt out

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a car from a property in Lando Road, Burry Port, which was later found burnt out in Pembrey Country Park.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the theft of the blue Ssangyong Rexton, which took place sometime between 5pm on Friday, 11th November, and 9am on Saturday, 12th November, and would like to speak to anyone who may have information or CCTV or dashcam footage.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DP-20221112-109

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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