Service medals for Edward arrive only 65 years late
A Long Clawson butcher was presented with medals for active service this week - only 65 years after he earned them. Edward Pears (85) served with 191 (Herts and Essex) Yeomanry, Royal Artillery as a driver and wireless operator. He was attached to the Canadian forces on D-Day, landing on the Normandy beaches in 1944 as part of the Allied liberation of Europe.
But following de-mobbing two years later, he didn't get his medals - until now.
He said: "It's very nice to get them. It was just one of those things and I never bothered any more about it. "After the war ended my father was taken ill and I was given compassionate leave and returned to England. I was on leave and then recalled then back on leave, then recalled. "Finally, a few days before Christmas in 1946 I was called in. I thought they were going to cancel my Christmas leave but the officer said 'I've got good news, you're being de-mobbed'. "Because it happened so quickly I never got my medals." Mr Pears' three medals are; the 1939-45 Star, for anyone who served abroad during the Second World War; the France and Germany Star, for those who fought in northwest Europe between 1944 and 1945; and the War Medal, for full-time service in the Armed Forces.
He was called up during the Second World War and, in 1944, was on the fleet which crossed the channel ready for D-Day. He said: "We were on a large liner off the coast of Normandy waiting for the flat bottomed landing craft so it wasn't until the second day when I made my landing, but it's not something I like to talk about. "Our main objective was Caen. We made our way right through France, Belgium and into Germany but I was in Nijmegen, Holland, on VE Day, but we were with the guns at the time and didn't really know much about it."
Following victory in Europe, Mr Pears was shipped to India to fight against the Japanese but they surrendered while he was en route. He said: "It was a shock arriving in south east Asia, it wasn't a pleasant place. It was known as the Forgotten Army out there. But because they dropped the atomic bombs I didn't engage in any fighting, but it still wasn't a nice place to serve." Mr Pears returned to work in his father's butcher, A Pears and Son in Long Clawson, where he still works with his sons Michael and Terry.
He was presented his medals yesterday by Peter Hackett, parade marshall for the Hose and Harby branch of the Royal British Legion, who arranged for them. He said: "We had heard Mr Pears didn't have his medals and it's been more than 60 years so we thought it would be nice get them. All I needed was his Army number and then to mount them so he can wear them."
Image: Peter Hackett, from Hose and Harby Royal British Legion, presents Edward Pears (85) with his medals.
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