Zouma presents pensioner with France’s highest medal for gallantry…
KURT ZOUMA has presented his country’s highest medal for gallantry to a pensioner who received numerous life-threatening injuries during the D-Day landings.
Frank Jenkinson visited the Club’s Clayton Wood training ground to receive the Legion d’Honneur from the Potters’ on-loan French defender.
Tradition dictates that the award must be presented by a French citizen and Zouma was delighted to do the honours after being made aware of Frank’s story.
Frank, who celebrated his 93rd birthday earlier this week, survived horrendous injuries during the D-Day landings in Northern France and his family decided to approach the French government about the possibility of him being recognised for his bravery.
They were amazed when a Legion d’Honneur medal arrived in the post and decided to approach the Club about arranging a presentation.
Frank enjoyed a cup of tea with manager Mark Hughes and chatted with Regimental Sergeant Major Ray Miller of the Royal Signals before Zouma handed over the medal.
Zouma told us: “Frank’s story is incredible; it was an honour to meet of man of such bravery and to present him with his Legion d’Honneur medal.”
Frank’s son-in-law Keith Stanton, boss of Stanton’s of Stoke bus company, told the Sentinel: “I contacted my friends down at Stoke City and they have done the rest off their own bat, which is amazing.
“Proud is such a little word to describe how we feel about Frank. There isn’t a word to describe it.
“He was a private in the Royal Norfolks when the Americans came from one side and the British from the other to blockade the Germans.
“Frank was machine-gunned across the chest and dropped to the floor. A sergeant got him onto a stretcher and while he was on there he was shot in the foot as well.
“He underwent an emergency tracheotomy on the battlefield before being moved to a field hospital.
“From there he was eventually brought home, to Swansea to begin with, who Stoke happen to play this weekend, then to Birmingham and then to Trentham Gardens.
“It was while at Trentham that he met his wife, Marjorie, who sadly died last year. He now lives on his own in Cheadle, but is still as fit as a fiddle.”
Frank became a joiner and in the late 1970s and even survived falling off a roof and breaking his neck.