A special salute to recognise valued service to our nation

Veterans saluted for their service gathered at Hemel Hempstead’s Royal British Legion club on Thursday to receive the recognition they were due.

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning presented three Arctic Star medals, one Bomber Command clasp and 19 veterans badges.

Medals presentation at Hemel Hempstead Royal British Legion

Medals presentation at Hemel Hempstead Royal British Legion

Master of ceremonies for the evening was Legion branch chairman and former submariner Peter Gibbons.

Mr Penning said: “I am honoured to be able to present these medals and badges.

“I pay tribute to the recipients of the Arctic Star and Bomber Command clasp which were hard-earned and are long overdue.

“These men have some incredible stories and I am delighted that they have finally been recognised for the hardships they endured.

“It was also a great honour to present veterans badges to local men and women who have served their country.

“We must never forget the debt of gratitude we owe our veterans and especially those who continue to serve in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

The Bomber Command clasp was presented to Robert Avann while the Arctic Star, recognising naval service on the perilous Russian convoys during the Second World War, went to Frederick Brown, Charles Light and Wally Colburn.

The veterans badge scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Defence to recognise veterans for their service to Queen and country and to raise the profile of our armed forces.

Special badges are given to those who served in the Merchant Navy, the Women’s Land Army and Timber Corps and as Bevin Boys.