104-year-old London woman honoured with French Legion of Honour for crafting D-Day maps

104-year-old Christian Lamb is awarded awarded the French Legion of Honour by French President Emmanuel Macron following the UK national commemorative event for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. Picture date: Thursday June 6, 2024.
-Credit: (Image: 2024 PA Media, All Rights Reserved)


A 104-year-old London woman, referred to as a "hero in the shadows", has been given France's highest award - the Legion of Honour. Londoner Christian Lamb, 104, was secretly posted to Whitehall at the beginning of 1944, tasked with creating detailed maps that would lead the way for landing craft crews on D-Day.

In a poignant moment at the UK's D-Day commemoration event in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy, the 104-year-old Ms Lamb sat in a wheelchair and looked on as French President Emmanuel Macron presented her with the prestigious medal, before kissing her on both cheeks.

Macron then publicly praised her, saying: "You were, in your own way, among those figures in the shadow of D-Day. Though you were not there in person, you guided each step they took." The French President continued his tribute with: "You have set us an example which we'll not forget."

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Emphasizing the bond between the two nations, he said: "France will never forget the British troops who landed on D-Day and all their brothers in arms."

Ms Lamb's father was a naval Admiral, and while she had originally planned to attend Oxford University, her plans soon changed when she joined the Wrens- the Woman's Royal Naval Service. By age 20, she held the title of 'Leading Wren' and began plotting maps, according to BBC News.

She had to keep her mapping work a secret, including from her husband Lt John Lamb, until 40 years after the war.

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