A DERELICT French shed has been bought as a memorial to the only soldier to win the Victoria Cross on D-Day.

The old tram-stop shelter, at La Riviere, in Normandy, has been purchased by the Green Howards Regiment, traditionally the regiment of Teesside and North Yorkshire.

The 9ft by 6ft building will become a monument to Sergeant Major Stan Hollis, of Middlesbrough.

On June 6, 1944, it was mistakenly identified as a pill box and was attacked with a Lewis machine-gun by Sgt Maj Hollis, then Company Sergeant Major of D Company, 6th Battalion, The Green Howards.

Pill box fortifications were commonly used as a German gun emplacement to counter the D-Day landings by the Allies.

Sgt Maj Hollis later went on to storm two genuine machine-gun nests, actions for which he was awarded D-Day's only Victoria Cross.

Senior Army officers spotted the shelter was for sale for £3,000 - still pock-marked with bullet holes - during their annual commemorative trip to Normandy.

Brigadier John Powell, colonel of the regiment, said the shelter would be known as Hollis' Hut.

He said: "We'll make it watertight - the tiles need re- laying - and make it secure.

"Then we'll probably put information about Hollis and the shed on a plaque outside to tell people what it's all about.

"Inside, we may store equipment for a picnic or a game of beach cricket for when Green Howards come here on holiday."

After the war, Sgt Maj Hollis, who died in 1972 aged 59, recalled shooting at the shelter.

He said: "I lifted the stripped Lewis off the floor of the landing craft and I belted this thing with a full pan of ammunition."

In doing so, he sustained his only wound of the day - a large blister on his hand - when he lifted up the machine-gun.

He stopped shooting when someone shouted: "It's only a bloody bus shelter, Sergeant Major."

Sgt Maj Hollis returned to Middlesbrough after the war and worked in the local steelworks and at a garage in Darlington.

After four years in the Far East as a ship's engineer, he became a publican, running first The Green Howard, in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough, and then the Holywell View, in Liverton Mines, near Loftus, east Cleveland.

His VC and other medals were presented to the Green Howards Museum, in Richmond, by Sir Ernest Harrison in 1997 and are now on display in the museum's medal room.

Admission to the museum costs £2 for adults, £1.50 for senior citizens, £1 for children or £3 for a family with up to three children.