The president of the Czech Republic has awarded a Briton his country's highest state honor for organizing a mass evacuation of children to save them from Nazi death camps.

Sir Nicholas Winton received the Order of the White Lion from President Milos Zeman at a ceremony Tuesday at Prague Castle. The 105-year-old Winton, accepting the award from a wheelchair, said he was delighted to receive it.

Zeman said he was ashamed that Winton had waited to get the honor for so long but added: "Better late than never."

Winton had arranged for eight trains to carry 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Germany to Britain at the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

The Czechs have repeatedly nominated Winton for the Nobel Peace Prize.