Those who are on Instagram will know that my dad has been in hospital again. He was taken in at the beginning of last week and I'm pleased to say that he's now back home again. Thank you to those who sent lovely messages, looking after elderly parents is such a roller coaster ride.
While my dad was in hospital, we went round to his house and saw that the postman had left a card saying he'd tried to deliver a parcel but no one was home. We took the card to the local sorting office and collected the parcel. It turned out to be something my dad had been waiting for.
After the Second World War, many servicemen came home and never spoke again of what had gone on during those long years. The sights they will have seen must have been horrific and the only way they could deal with them was to never mention them again. Not only that, but they didn't even apply for the medals they were entitled to, apparently this was very common. My grandpa, my dad's dad, was one of these men. He served as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War and it's only recently when, a passing comment from my dad, led me to discover that he'd never claimed his medals and so I thought I would do something about it.
I printed off the forms I needed, collected the required information, got my dad to sign them and sent them off to the Ministry of Defence. It was all really easy. Inside the parcel I collected from the sorting office were these.
How fabulous is that? Just short of seventy five years since the end of the war, and now we have my grandpa's medals in our possession.
The War Medal 1939-45 is a campaign medal for award to subjects of the British Commonwealth who had served full-time in the Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy for at least 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.
The Defence Medal is a campaign medal for award to subjects of the British Commonwealth for both non-operational military and certain types of civilian war service during the Second World War.
The 1939-45 Star is a military campaign medal for award to British and Commonwealth forces for service in the Second World War.
The Burma Star is a military campaign medal for award to British and Commonwealth forces who served in the Burma Campaign from 1941 to 1945, during the Second World War.
It's a long time since these medals were earned by my grandpa but at long last, his service has now been recognised, and the parcel containing these medals cheered my dad up no end when we took it into the hospital and he opened it.