Veteran receives medal honour - 60 years late

RAF veteran Roy Adair

RAF veteran Roy Adair

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A Royal Air Force veteran has received a medal honouring his time in service – 60 years late.

Roy Adair, from Cleveleys, joined the RAF as a layman in the a 5333-MU squadron in 1953 when he was just 17 years old.

The now 79-year-old dodged bullets in Egypt during the fight against the Egyptian Revolution, before being flown to Cyprus to stand as a guard outside British camps against rebels in 1954 and ’55.

Grandad-of-five Roy, who later worked as a paper manufacturer, said he had no idea he was owed a medal acknowledging his life-risking actions.

He said: “I didn’t know I was entitled to it. My neighbour found out about it and he got in touch with the RAF authorities on my behalf.

“It’s just a general service medal and I’m quite pleased with it.

“I don’t know if I deserve it. There are thousands of lads who deserved medals who didn’t live to see them.

“My granddaughter is coming up to a year old now and this medal will go to her.”

Mr Adair added that being awarded the solid silver medal had given him the chance to look back on his RAF days.

He said: “Since I had a stroke about three years ago it’s harder to remember things. Getting the medal really brings back memories.

“I remember being sent to guard a plane crash for 24 hours. There were still parts of the body inside the wreckage. The smell was horrendous – you couldn’t get away from it.

“When I left the RAF they just sent me on my way and I had to put it behind me and just get on with my life.

“Now I’m able to talk about it more.”

Could you be entitled to the General Service Medal 1918-68?

The General Service Medal was awarded to members of the Army and RAF who served in one of 17 campaigns and operations between 1918 and ’68 that fell short of full-scale war.

These campaigns took place in Iran, Kurdistan, Iraq, Palestine,South East Asia, Malaya, Cyprus, the Near East, the Arabian Peninsula, Brunei, and Egypt.

The medal bears the image of whichever monarch was on the throne at the time – Mr Adair’s medal has the face of Queen Elizabeth II.

Only one general service medal is awarded to each service person no matter how many qualifying areas they served in.

If you think you could be owed a General Service Medal acknowledging your time in service, email DBS-Medals@mod.uk, or write to MOD Medal Office, Innsworth House, Imjin Barracks, Gloucester, L3 1HW.