Badges of honour for service veterans

Mike Penning MP with the veterans
Mike Penning MP with the veterans

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning presented veterans badges to men and women who have served in HM Forces at a ceremony held at The Bury, in Queensway.

Major Bob Fisher and Sue Rose, of the Royal British Legion Hemel Hempstead branch, were guests of honour.

Mike said: “I am delighted to present these veterans with their veterans badges.

“It is important that we recognise and celebrate the service given to our country by servicemen and women in war and in peacetime.

“As a former Defence Minister and soldier myself, I wholeheartedly support this veterans badge initiative.

“I would very much encourage anyone who has served in the forces to contact my office to apply for a badge. This includes anyone who was called up for National Service.

“So many people ask me if those who did National Service are eligible and, of course, they are.

“Please come forward and claim your badge. All veterans can wear this badge with pride.”

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.

Local hospital campaigner Betty Harris accepted a Royal Airforce Pathfinder Badge on behalf of her brother, Edgar Feather.

Edgar served in the Pathfinder Force, tasked with dropping illuminating flares ahead of bombing raids in the Second World War.

This was a particularly dangerous operation and, sadly, Edgar was shot down on May 2 1944, three days after being awarded the Royal Airforce Pathfinder Badge but before it could be presented to him.

As a result, his family never received his badge.

Betty contacted Mike Penning who arranged for her to receive the badge on her brother’s behalf.

Mike also accompanied the family on a visit to the Pathfinder Museum at RAF Wyton to learn more about the Pathfinder Force and the events of 1944.

He said: “It has been a great honour to be able to help Betty in this way and to learn more about the incredible work and bravery of the Pathfinder Force.

“When you hear about their role, you can only have a huge admiration for their courage and bravery.”

To find out more about the veterans badges, which are available to all former service personnel, contac Mike Penning’s office on 01442 251126.