Sidmouth soldier's medals presented to sister

IT WAS a proud moment for Olive Watts on Friday when she received her late brother s war medals at a ceremony in Sidmouth.

IT WAS a proud moment for Olive Watts on Friday when she received her late brother's war medals at a ceremony in Sidmouth.

Olive, 76, from Moormead, Budleigh Salterton, received the Malayan medal, Korean medal and UN medal, awarded to her late brother Dave Hamson, from Sir John Cave, Vice Lord Lieutenant at Sidmouth's Garden of Remembrance service.

Private Hamson, who was born in Manstone Avenue, Sidmouth, was killed during the bloody Battle of Imjin River in Korea in April 1951.

He served with 1st Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment and was seconded to 1st Battalion of the Gloucester Regiment in Malaya before being posted to Korea.

Olive, who met up with some of her brother's neighbours and friends on Friday, said: "I think he should be remembered. When we were young we were never allowed to talk about him. I was 18 and he was 20 when he was killed.

"I was told about the medals the other day. It was a nice surprise and Dave would have been so proud."

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Sir John told her: "It really is a great pleasure and an honour to be here today to meet you and, on behalf of Sidmouth branch of the RBL, present your late brother's medals to you."

It has taken Dave O'Connor, chairman of Sidmouth branch of the Royal British Legion, four years to gain Dave's medals as well as get permission for a memorial tablet to be installed at the parish church to him and other servicemen and women who have died in conflicts since World War Two.

Olive can't remember much about her brother before he went abroad as he was learning to be a train driver in Exeter while she was in Plymouth on a telephonist course.

Mr O'Connor will also apply for the National Service medal and new Elizabeth Cross medal for Private Hamson.