A York Normandy veteran and former Rowntree employee was presented with a model of an engine named after him for his dedication to the country.

Ken Cooke of York, North Yorkshire, was only 16 when he volunteered to fight for his country.

His actions, landing at D-Day and fighting through the French and Belgian frontier, earned Ken the Legion D’Honneur, France’s highest military Honour, in May 2016.

The Northern Echo: The model train

While working at the Rowntree cocoa works in York, Ken would hitch rides on the Rowntree No.3 to get to and from work.

Hornby, unveiling their newest model iteration of the Rowntree No.3, decided to present Ken with his very own eponymous ‘The Ruston & Hornsby 88DS Rowntree No3 Ken Cooke.’

The original Ruston 441934 was built new for Rowntree & Co. Ltd of York in April 1960, and became No3. The train has helped to assemble thousands of trains at Rowntree, which over many years, carried millions of boxes of chocolates and chocolate bars such as KitKat.

The Northern Echo: Ken Cooke and his train

In 1987. No. 3 was passed to the North York Moors Railway for preservation, but in 2013 was quite fittingly acquired by two members of the Derwent Valley Light Railway, Glynnis and Tony Frith, and has returned to York.

When Glynnis and Tony were looking for a suitable name for the locomotive, they chose Ken Cooke as a fitting tribute to veteran Ken.