A CENTENARIAN has been presented with a war service medal – more than 60 years after she left the forces.
Annie Davey served as a telephonist looking after the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) communications from 1941 until 1945.
The 100-year-old, who lives at Sheraton Court nursing home, in Warren Road, Hartlepool, was demobbed after the Second World War.
But Annie, who was stationed in York and Bedfordshire, never applied for her service medal, which acknowledges her time spent with the forces during the war.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright went along to the home to present Annie with the accolade.
The presentation came about after Dave Stacey, chairman of the Hartlepool branch of the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA), read about Annie’s 100th birthday in the Mail in January, which described how she had been in the RAF.
Dave, 65, who lives in the Foggy Furze area of town, said: “I read the story and spoke to Annie and her niece.
“I asked if they knew whether Annie ever got all her medals.
“They said no so I wrote off to the Ministry of Defence’s medals department. “Annie had never claimed her medals and the MOD sent them to her niece.”
Dave, who was in the RAF for 28 years and is also a retired Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court usher, also arranged for Annie to receive a veteran’s badge, which is awarded to anyone who ever served in the forces.
Father-of-three Dave, who is married to Margaret and has seven grandchildren, said he has helped to hand out three other medals to veterans in the Hartlepool area in recent years.
He added: “I think it’s very important, even if it’s over 60 years later, that Annie’s role in the war should be recognised.
“The presentation of the medals is a way the country and the public can see that Annie did her bit.”
Annie is originally from South Shields but moved to Hartlepool two years ago to be nearer her niece, Valerie Lacey, 76, and Valerie’s husband, Douglas, 79, who live in Passfield Way in Peterlee.
She worked in cinemas in South Shields before and after her service.
Her niece, Mrs Lacey said Annie had a friend named Jack, who was also in the RAF, but was tragically killed when his plane was shot down during the war.
Mrs Lacey added: “It’s lovely for my aunt to receive these medals after all this time and it was nice of Mr Stacey to go to this trouble just from seeing her story in the paper.”
Hartlepool RAFA, which has 110 members, supports serving and ex-members of the RAF.
More information can be obtained by calling 07907874654 or by logging onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and selecting the link at the bottom of this story.