Sidmouth war veterans' presentation

A DOZEN war veterans received their Armed Forces Veterans Badge from Sir John Cave at Sidmouth s Garden of Remembrance Service on Friday.

A DOZEN war veterans received their Armed Forces Veterans Badge from Sir John Cave at Sidmouth's Garden of Remembrance Service on Friday.

It brings the total of local service men and women to receive the badge to 274, said Dave O'Connor, chairman of Sidmouth branch of the Royal British Legion.

Those who received them were Arthur Adkins (Royal Army Service Corps), Tom Cosgrove, David Wallace and John Ward (Royal Navy), Peter Fowler (Royal Air Force), John Ankins (RAF Regiment), M A Mitchell, Freddie Wedderburn, Barry Venn, R Whelan, (RAF), WF Wagstaff and Steven Blanchford-Cox (Army).

Sir John, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Devon, said: "Everyone owes a huge debt to the chairman of Sidmouth branch of the RBL for all he has put in to doing his homework and getting a huge number of veterans' badges to those today and before."


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RBL president Eileen Hodges, who, in a surprise presentation received a president's jewel from Sir John, said: "Dave has worked so hard to do this and I am so glad it has been successful."

Steve Blanchford-Cox, a PCSO for Sidmouth, spent 18 years as a sergeant in the Royal Artillery in Germany, Northern Ireland and Cyprus, in tanks, coming out in 2002 with prolapsed discs in his back.

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He served in the Falklands, "but not during the conflict".

PC Wallace was a mechanical electrician with the Navy for five years from 1983, serving on HMS Challenger, a large diving support ship, before joining the Police Force.

"I spent all my time around the South West coast of England or Scotland," he said, adding the ship took part in recovering secret equipment off the seabed.

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