A DAVENTRY vicar has received the French Legion of Honour medal for his work as national chaplain to the Normandy veterans.

The high-profile role saw the Rev Kenneth Ward among hundreds of dignitaries in Normandy last week, giving services to mark the 60th anniversary celebrations of the D-Day landings.

During his years in the role, the former vicar of the Holy Cross Church, Daventry has met the Queen Mother and chatted with Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He has also preached in some of the most famous cathedrals in the country.

The 81-year-old first heard he was to be honoured with the French medal, which ranks between an MBE and an OBE, when the General Secretary of the Veteran's Association phoned him at his Daventry home.

He said: "It's been quite exciting being national

chaplain and we've met many people, not only prime

ministers of our own country and cabinet ministers but lots of other people besides."

Talking about his latest visit for the anniversary

celebrations, the Rev Ward, who is himself a D-Day veteran, said: "We're all over 80, some are 90, one is 101.

"We have got a lot of

people who are not just

with walking sticks but struggling. That makes it rather sad as so much of our organisation has been connected with comradeship and activity."