France honours retired minister

Anne Scarff leads the congregation of Ipswich URC in congratulating Leslie Ivory

Retired United Reformed Church minister the Revd Leslie Ivory has been knighted by the French government his role in the liberation of France during the Second World War.

Mr Ivory – who lives in Stowmarket, Suffolk, and was for many years the minister Of Whiting Street URC in Bury St Edmunds – was informed by the French Ambassador that the President of the Republic had appointed him to the rank of chevalier (knight) in the Order national de la Legion d’ honneur.

The official letter offered him ‘warmest congratulations’ stating: ‘As we contemplate this Europe of peace, we must never forget heroes like you.... We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life.’

Mr Ivory said that he was surprised but delighted to have received the honour: ‘As with the many others with whom I served, I was just doing my job,’ he said.

The congregation at the Ipswich Street URC applauded him warmly during the church service as the church secretary, Anne Scarff, congratulated him.