Badge of honour for armed-forces veterans

Words and photos by Dave Barry

Armed-forces veterans have been honoured for their service to the country at a ceremony hosted by the FirstLight Trust.

It was at Sharpe’s, the military charity’s café in Queen Street, Scarborough.

The vice lord-lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Peter Scrope, and the borough mayor and mayoress, Martin and Cherry Smith, presented seven men with veterans badges.

They were Craig Alderton, Mike Blackwell, Kenneth Bowtell, Patrick Dawkins, Charlie Hayes, Jeremy Hindle and Bernard Murphy.

The presentation was attended by Green Howards standard bearer Ian Temple; John Anderson BEM of the British Legion, who helped organise the ordering of the badges; and FLT founder and trustee Dorinda Wolfe Murray.

It was organised by the trust’s support coordinator, Sally Bowtell, and activity coordinator Carolyn Mayow.

After joining the Royal Corps of Transport in 1962, Mike Blackwell trained as a driver and was posted to the second division of the Transport Regiment in Germany.

He was employed as a physical training instructor until his discharge as a corporal in 1968.

Craig Alderton, who is partially sighted, joined the Royal Logistic Corps in 1994. His basic training at Pirbright was followed by trade training at the Army School of Mechanical Transport (ASMT) in Leconfield. He qualified as a driver and radio operator and was medically discharged as a private in 2000.

Kenneth Bowtell did his national service with 19 Infantry Brigade of the Royal Army Service Corps from 1959-61.

After qualifying as a driver, he was posted to Colchester and had a short spell in Kenya.

When he left the army, he became an engineer. He is now retired.

Charlie Hayes joined the Royal Logistic Corps in 1973, passing out as a supply specialist.

He served with the fifth regiment of the Royal Artillery, the Second Combat Support Battalion in Germany, the ASMT and in Iraq. He was a lance corporal when he left the army in 2009.

Bernard Murphy enlisted in 1957. While serving with the West Yorkshire Regiment, he was stationed in Gibraltar, Germany and Aden (in what is now called Yemen).

After he left the army, as a corporal in 1964, he served in the territorial army, rising to sergeant. He is now retired.  

Two of the veterans enlisted in the Green Howards as boy soldiers, trained at Catterick and were posted to the first battalion of the Green Howards as infantrymen.

Jeremy Hindle, who enlisted in 1991, took part in a Nato training exercise in Canada and saw active service in Kosovo in 1994.

He was discharged from the army in 1995 as a private.

Pat Dawkins joined the army in 1987 and served with the battalion until his discharge as a private in 1992. Since then he has been employed in various occupations.

Both Craig and Pat served in Northern Ireland.

Most of the badge recipients were awarded general service medals.