A PROUD widow collected a medal awarded to her late heroic husband who risked his life serving in the Royal Navy.
Joe Charnock served in Malaysia, among other places, during the 1950s and 1960s.
Joe, who lived in Hartlepool throughout his life, sadly died 19 months ago, aged 70, after suffering with cancer.
His wife Fran said she felt his “immense pride” yesterday when she went to Newcastle to pick up a war medal on his behalf.
The Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal is awarded to British veterans recognising their service in Malaya or Malaysia between August, 1957 and August, 1966.
The award, which is presented by the Malaysian Government, was created in 2005.
Fran, 69, who lives in Hartfields Retirement Village, told the Mail of her pride after she attended the ceremony.
She said: “It was an absolutely lovely ceremony.
“It really was a special day and it meant so much to be able to receive the award for him.”
Fran, who is a mum to Andrew McCulley, 49 and Donna McCulley, 40, added: “Only last week I received a phone call from someone saying Joe had been awarded a medal.
“I couldn’t gather my thoughts at first but once I did I said it would be a privilege to go and collect such an award on Joe’s behalf, and it was exactly that.
“I went with a friend yesterday and to be honest I just expected to be handed an award in a small room, but it was a tremendous day.
“It was such a lovely ceremony and it made you appreciate just how important Joe’s role was.”
After Joe’s service in the Navy came to an end, he came back to Hartlepool where he worked at a factory in Hartlepool with Fran.
Joe, who previously lived in Brenda Road and Balmoral Court in the town, was a dad to Paul, 47, and Andrew, who tragically died in 1997, aged just 27, during his last day of training as a Royal Marine.
Joe overcame stomach cancer in 2000, but sadly died last year after a short battle with cancer of the oesophagus.
Fran added: “Joe took such pride in his work.
“He absolutely loved submarines and when he came home he would tell me all of the stories and how much he enjoyed it.
“He served in Malaysia, Singapore and a number of other places, but obviously the majority of the time he was underwater.
“I told the people who awarded the medals yesterday how much this would mean to Joe.”