WW2 hero gets his medals - 70 years late

Roy White
Roy White

A Second World War veteran has at last received a medal honouring his vital service - almost 70 years after returning home.

A Second World War veteran has at last received a medal honouring his vital service - almost 70 years after returning home.

‘I felt very satisfied...I’ve now got something to 
remember it all by’

Roy White spent four years defending his country in the RAF, training troops to drop bombs in Egypt and even surviving a crash landing.

But the proud pensioner was never presented with his medal after only returning home in 1947.

Now he has been united with his 1939-45 War Medal just days after his 90th birthday.

“It was a great birthday present,” Roy, who lives in Hornton, said.

“I felt very satisfied after all these years.

“They were a great bunch and I was very proud to serve with them.

“I’ve now got something to remember it all by.”

Roy, who was born in Scotland, was just 18 when he was called up for service in 1943.

Living in London at the time, he signed up at Lord’s Cricket Ground before being sent to Bridgnorth for his initial training as a signaller.

But it wasn’t long before he was drafted to the Middle East to teach pilots how to drop bombs on targets.

“I was away from my family for two and a half years and could only communicate by letter,” Roy added.

“It was all very different but you got used to the weather and the distance after a while.

“It was very unfortunate that my best mate and all his company got killed in my first month out there.

“They were doing bombing training and one of the bombs got snarled up and exploded on board.

“It was so awful because the first I knew of it was coming back from lunch to see his empty bed.

“There was nothing at all – it was like he had never existed.”

The following week Roy found his own life in danger when the aircraft he was flying in lost all power.

The pilot had switched to an empty fuel tank while on a training flight and soon the whole crew found themselves plummeting to the ground.

Roy added: “We were all very, very lucky.

“Only one chap injured himself and that was only a broken ankle.

“It was lucky we were over some fields at the time and the instructor was experienced enough to get us down.

“The laugh of it was that I didn’t even realise anything was happening because I’d been on the radio listening for messages.”

Roy was finally demobbed in 1947 and made his way back to London and life as a textile worker.

He had forgotten all about his medal – more concerned with “getting back on British soil” – until his 90th birthday when a neighbour wrote to 
the MOD Medal Office in London.

Two weeks later, the treasured possession arrived by recorded delivery in the post in a plush box, where Roy and his family plan to keep it safe for the next 70 years.