Veteran Alexander Bryant awarded medal

Second World War veteran Alexander Bryant with his medal
Second World War veteran Alexander Bryant with his medal

An 89-year-old Second World War veteran suffering a life-threatening illness had his spirits lifted after being awarded a medal.

South Queensferry resident Alexander Bryant was in St John’s Hospital suffering from pneumonia when his Legion d’honneur arrived.

The French government is presenting the medals to all surviving veterans of the D-Day landings.

Alexander’s son William read out the citation which appeared to lift his father’s spirits.

William said: “My dad was discharged just two days after that. It really did seem to make a difference.”

Born in London in 1926, Alexander moved to Kent and joined the army when he was 16.

He enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1943 and became involved in training and seamanship at HMS Stopford in Bo’ness.

Shortly after his 18th birthday he was a winch man on a landing craft on June 6, 1944, carrying Canadian troops and their tanks to Juno beach.

Alexander recalled the D-Day landings. He said: “I was scared. You’d be a liar if you said you weren’t. But it was exciting for a lad that age.”

After the war Alexander returned to Scotland where he met his wife Edith and he is the head of a family of five children, 16 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The war veteran turns 90 soon and is looking forward to his birthday celebration where an honorary French Consul will make a formal presentation of his medal.