With French President Emmanuel Macron set to award London with the country’s highest order of merit for military, an Ellesmere councillor wants to share the truth about why.

President Macron is set to award London with the Legion d’Honneur for looking after French army officer Charles De Gaulle during the Second World War.

However, mayor of Ellesmere, Councillor Paul Goulbourne, is keen for people to know that actually, De Gaulle spent much of his time during the Second World War in north Shropshire.

The Frenchman lived in Dudleston Heath for most of the war with his family, and Cllr Goulbourne said he may write to the French president to share this knowledge with him.

“It’s really a bit tongue in cheek,” said Cllr Goulbourne. “People around here know he lived in Dudleston Heath during the war with his family at Gadlas Hall.

“His family was well-known there – it’s another part of the rich history in Ellesmere.

“It’s quite well-known around here by the older people living in the town – someone came to see me to talk about it the other day.

“He said he was about 10 years old at the time of Charles De Gaulle’s arrival; he said he remembers him arriving in his car and walking around the town in his uniform.

“There was an old scout hut which was converted into a Catholic church for him and his family.”

Although Cllr Goulbourne may write to President Macron, he does not expect the town to be recognised with a similar honour any time soon.

“I think it’s quite interesting, I like my local history,” he said.

“I don’t really think we’d have any chance of being given an award for our town, but I might try writing to President Macron just to see if there would be any response.

“I think it would be nice to let people know that he was up here and not in London.”