Knowsley War Hero Awarded Medal For WWII French Liberation

Ken and Riverside Scheme Manager Pat Helsby
KEN McKernan, who lives in Knowsley, has been awarded a medal for his bravery in the Second World War. Ninety-one-year-old Ken was awarded a National Order of Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) from the French Government for his part in the liberation of France in World War II. The French order was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May 1802 as an award to commend civilians and soldiers. While membership in the legion restricted to French nationals, foreign nationals who have served France, or the ideals the country upholds, may also receive the honour. [1] Ken was 19-years-old when he landed with the British and Canadian Forces on Juno Beach in 1944. He was a soldier in the Royal Scots Fusiliers and fought in France, Belgium and Holland. He served in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes and Operation Market Garden in Holland. Ken has been awarded several medals including the Victory Medal, the Service Medal and 1939-1945 Star. After the war, Ken returned to England and he and his wife, Ann, raised three daughters and two sons. Ken and his wife live at one of Riverside’s Retirement Living schemes in Knowsley. Last week Ken’s friends and fellow customers at the scheme for over-55s threw him a surprise party to recognise his honour. Riverside Care and Support provides housing and advice to Veterans on leaving the armed forces. The housing association runs two specialist support schemes as well as SPACES telephone service for veterans in need of housing related advice. Since SPACES was established in 2000, Riverside has helped around 13,000 homeless ex-servicemen and women. The service provides tailored, specialist support for the unique issues veterans face.