M.A. Tony Sutton (O40)
M.A. (Tony) SUTTON (O40) was awarded the “Légion d’Honneur” in December 2016, following the decision of the French Government to offer it to those who contributed in any way to the liberation of France 70 years earlier. Tony was a liaison officer in the Westminster Dragoons and landed in Normandy on D+4. The Regiment was part of 79th Armoured Division, known as “Hobo’s Funnies” who were equipped with numerous devices for overcoming natural and man-made defences on the invasion beaches. The Regiment was equipped with Sherman Flail tanks for clearing mines. Tony’s late brother, S.P.M. (Peter) Sutton (O.36) was in the same Regiment; he commanded a breaching squadron of mixed Flails and other tanks and landed at Zero Hour on D-Day, as these vehicles had to be the first on the beaches. Peter successfully produced 2 mine-free lanes off Gold Beach, which were used by the follow-up troops, including tanks. On D+1, Peter’s squadron was attacked by a German pocket of resistance which had been bypassed by the invaders; he organised a successful counter-attack, took 100 prisoners and captured several large guns.
Though his military contribution in Normandy was small, Tony felt justified in accepting the “Légion d’Honneur” because he was part of a Division and Regiment which made a major contribution to the success of the invasion landing; it was a tribute to them. He later commanded a troop of Flail tanks and saw action in Holland, where he was awarded the M.C. Peter was also awarded the M.C. for what he did on D-Day and D+1.
Tony after the Presentation with his 3 daughters and 2 sons, and a nephew (Nicholas):
Bridget Swithinbank, Nicholas Sutton(T.83), Teresa Pim , French Naval Officer, Tony Sutton (O.40), French Consul, Philip Sutton (O.85) Michael Sutton (O.86) , Veronica Ford