A TRIP to France was made extra special for World War Two veteran Ted Sharples.
Mr Sharples, 84, of Crosland Moor, is a regular visitor to a small town called Moncy.
While serving with the Army's 11th Armoured Division in August 1944, Mr Sharples helped break through enemy lines and free the Moncy area from the Nazi onslaught.
During his latest visit Mr Sharples was presented with the Normandy Veterans' Badge by the Mayor of the town, Daniel Hatteville.
"It was a very special moment," he said. "After all this time I am not just a veteran but a friend."
Mr Sharples had travelled to Normandy with his son Peter, daughter-in-law Jean and granddaughter Rebecca, 27.
The family's trip was funded by a grant from the Heroes Return scheme, launched by the Government in February this year.
It was introduced to mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day landings and help veterans of the Second World War to travel overseas to the battlefields where they fought and to pay their respects to fallen comrades.
Most of the veterans taking part in Heroes Return visited the Normandy beaches, where the D-Day landings took place in 1944.
Mr Sharples said of his division: "Ours was the division known as Charging Bull.
"We were specially trained to break through enemy lines.
"We liberated the area so it is always a happy reunion to go back. Their gratitude goes on.
"The children are all taught about what happened from when they are five and six. I think it would be good if we did that sort of thing with our young people here."
Mr Sharples has become a much-loved visitor to Moncy since he went there on his first commemorative visit in 1989.
He was with his full Army division. Since then, he has visited the town every August with his family.
He now has a wide circle of French friends, including a French family he stayed with in 1989.