Benjamin Gorgibus, the Deputy Mayor of Saint-Valery-en-Caux, has been awarded an Honorary British Empire Medal.
The award from His Majesty The King is in recognition of the Deputy Mayor’s services to British war Veterans and commemoration.
Monsieur Gorgibus (pictured) is a friend of Highland RFCA and has been instrumental (along with Mayor Jean-François Ouvry) in organising commemorations of the Battle of St Valery. St Valery is a fishing village in northern France besieged by the German army in 1940. Highland RFCA has, along with British Army representatives, attended many of these events in previous years.
Plans are already well under way to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the Normandy town this year and for the 85th anniversary of the Battle in 2025. Highland RFCA will again be involved in these commemorative events.
The events will remember the fallen and captured of the 51st Highland Division and soldiers from the 1st Armoured Division and the French 9th Army Corps that fought alongside the Highlanders in 1940; and the liberation of St Valery in 1944.
The award submission was supported by 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Army in Scotland.
“Congratulations to M. Benjamin Gorgibus on his BEM; excellent news and a fitting accolade for his many years of commemorating and celebrating the close ties between the people of St Valery, the communities in the Highlands of Scotland and the soldiers and their successors of the 51st Highland Division.”
– Commander and All Ranks of the 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Army in Scotland
The announcement was made prior to the New Year Honours for 2024 being published.