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Scottish D-Day veteran awarded France’s highest honour – 78 years later

John said: “When it came in the post it was a complete surprise. I’d been waiting for this for years. It was the best Christmas gift ever.

“I hope that this might encourage other veterans to come forward and apply if they have missed out. My family are all very proud, and my great-grandchildren were very interested and wanted to know more about my story.”

Mr McOwan and his division continued on to victory in Berlin, and he finally left the Army in 1946 as a Sergeant.

He returned to Peebles and took over the family jewellery business with his brother, retiring in 1990. He and late wife Betty had one daughter, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Mr McOwan has already written a memoir with the help of Blind Veterans UK, which he published last year.