Eight New Zealand veterans have been awarded the French Legion of Honour for their bravery and commitment in World War II.

French Ambassador to New Zealand Florence Jeanblanc-Risler presented the awards at the National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy last night.

French Ambassador to New Zealand Florence Jeanblanc-Risler presents Squadron Leader Keith Boles with his medal. Photo / Nick Reed
French Ambassador to New Zealand Florence Jeanblanc-Risler presents Squadron Leader Keith Boles with his medal. Photo / Nick Reed

The eight men were appointed as Knights of the National Order of the Legion of Honour.

The formal recognition is part of a French campaign to recognise the services of New Zealand veterans alongside the 70th anniversary of the battle of Normandy.

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Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion of Honour is the highest decoration bestowed in France for both military and civilian distinguished national services.

The decorated veterans are: Flight Lieutenant John Moore Morris, Squadron Leader Keith Marwood Boles, Flight Lieutenant Hugh Findlater, Able Seaman Roger Maclean, Lieutenant Neil Harton, Squadron Leader John Leslie Munro, Flying Officer Clive Woodward Estcourt and Flying Officer Noel Sutherland.