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Centenarian nurse receives honour for wartime care

A wartime nurse who was posted in Normandy as the first D-Day soldiers arrived is to be honoured by the French government.
legion

A wartime nurse who was posted in Normandy as the first D-Day soldiers arrived is to be honoured by the French government.

Mada Clare, aged 103, will this weekend receive the Chevalier de lOrdre National de la Legion dHonneur - a legion of honour medal.

Mrs Clares nursing career saw her treat soldiers injured in the Battle of Caen, care for concentration camp survivors, and set up an emergency theatre for wartime British prime minister Winston Churchill.

But the nurse, who now lives in Alice Grange Care Home in Ipswich, said that while she is honoured to receive the medal: 'I was just doing my duty'.

Ms Clare has vivid memories of treating the Belsen concentration camp survivors.

'We were worried

A wartime nurse who was posted in Normandy as the first D-Day soldiers arrived is to be honoured by the French government.

legion
Mada Clare, aged 103, will receive the French legion of honour medal
for her many years of service. Picture: IStock

Mada Clare, aged 103, will this weekend receive the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur - a legion of honour medal.

Mrs Clare’s nursing career saw her treat soldiers injured in the Battle of Caen, care for concentration camp survivors, and set up an emergency theatre for wartime British prime minister Winston Churchill.

But the nurse, who now lives in Alice Grange Care Home in Ipswich, said that while she is honoured to receive the medal: 'I was just doing my duty'.

Ms Clare has vivid memories of treating the Belsen concentration camp survivors.

'We were worried that we didn’t know how we were going to look after these patients,' she said. 'We were told the average weight was five stone and they all had typhoid contact…it was very sad.'

She was also posted to Potsdam, near Berlin, for the allied conference, where she set up an emergency surgical theatre for the delegation, including Mr Churchill.

'But no one went off sick and so we had nothing to do, though we did have to deal with a septic finger,' she said.  

French Embassy honorary consul Jean-Claude Lafontaine will present Ms Clare with the award at a reception, attended by four of her sisters and former colleagues from the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps.

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