A Hayle pensioner and retired seaman who served during the Normandy landings has been recognised by the French government for his part in the country's liberation.

The family of Captain Michael Lane are delighted that he has this month been awarded France’s highest award, the chevalier de l’ordre national de la Légion d’honneur.

Captain Lane, known as Mike, was a 19 year old midshipman serving aboard HMS Ramillies during the Normandy landings in June 1944, supporting the airborne troops tasked with taking Pegasus Bridge. His ship was on station for ten days, surviving torpedo and e-boat attacks, and firing over 1,000 rounds of 15” shells - more than any other ship.

In August HMS Ramillies played a large part in the invasion of southern France, knocking out gun batteries protecting Toulon harbour.

Mike who moved to Hayle 10 years ago, had a first career in the Royal Navy which saw him appointed as naval attaché in Tehran in the early 1970s and as an aide de camp to the Queen later in the decade.

Mike retired from the navy in 1979, and started a second career as a farmer, firstly in Dorset, then in Devon, and latterly for ten years in France,

Mike was married for over 60 years to his late wife, award-winning artist Joy Lane, with whom he had five children.

Mike still works five days a week on a voluntary basis for Citrus Print Solutions Ltd in Hayle.