Leeds soldier FINALLY gets his war medal - aged 91

Peter Paylor. PIC: Simon Hulme
Peter Paylor. PIC: Simon Hulme
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A WORLD War Two veteran from Leeds has finally received a campaign service medal after more than 60 years of waiting.

D-Day survivor Peter Paylor, 91, of Bramley, received four WWII campaign medals soon after hostilities ended in 1945.

But Mr Paylor did not receive a medal for his service with the British army during a peace keeping mission in Palestine from 1945 to 1948.

He had given up hope of ever getting the medal he was entitled to until Coun Kevin Ritchie and MP Rachel Reeves stepped in to help.

After finally receiving his Palestine medal last week, Mr Paylor said: “I knew I was due the medal, just thought it had been forgotten.”

He added: “I’m delighted to finally get it, I’m absolutely over the moon. I have waited all these years and I wasn’t expecting it all.”

Mr Paylor had mentioned the missing medal during a chat with Coun Ritchie (Labour/Bramley and Stanningley) in May this year.

Coun Ritchie raised the issue with Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves and she investigated the matter before contacting the Ministry of Defence.

Ms Reeves, who met Mr Paylor last month when she read an extract from his memoirs at the unveiling of the Bramley War Memorial, said: “After hearing Mr Paylor’s first-hand accounts of life as a young man fighting for our country, I was determined to help him get his medal for serving in Palestine shortly after the Second World War.

“I know Mr Paylor is delighted with his medal, and it goes to show that brave men and women who serve our country rightly deserve recognition, regardless of how much time has passed.”

Coun Ritchie said: “He is a true hero of this country and this medal is much deserved. It’s a shame it has taken almost 70 years to get there, but delighted we have been able to deliver it for him thanks to the intervention of Rachel Reeves.”

Mr Paylor, who was a signaller in the Royal Corps of Signals, was aged just 21 when he was involved of the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.

After the war Mr Paylor worked as a bus and tram driver in Leeds.

HOW TO CLAIM MEDALS

MINISTRY of Defence chiefs say the largest group of veterans who have not received medals they are entitled to are those who served in the Second World War.

An MOD spokesman said: “Although the availability of medals for wartime service was widely advertised at the time, many people did not come forward.

“As a consequence , some 70 years later, the MOD Medal Office are receiving in the order of 200 applications for WW2 medals per week. They are still issued in the first instance free of charge. Medals can be issued to the legal next of kin of deceased ex-Servicemen/women; however proof of kinship will be required.”

Veterans can apply for medals by writing to MOD Medal Office, Innsworth House , Imjin Barracks, Gloucester, GL3 1HW.

Enquiries about medals can be made by calling the MOD on 0800 0853600 or be emailing DBS-medals@mod.uk

For more information, go to www.veterans-uk.info/medals/claiming

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