September 17 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 29, 2014
They say good things come to those who wait. And that is certainly the case for Jack and Peggy Elliston as they have finally received their medals for serving in the Second World War – 69 years after the conflict ended.
The Oulton couple have been recognised by the government for their service to their country during the war after the Ministry of Defence (MOD) sent them both a Defence Medal and War Medal for the time they spent in the armed forces.
Mr Elliston, now 94, served in the Royal Artillery and was badly injured during a bombing raid, and Mrs Elliston, 93, was a clerk with the Royal Ordnance Corps.
The couple were unaware that they qualified for their medals until Mrs Elliston spoke to Ray Lambert, secretary of the Lowestoft branch of the Royal Engineers Association, as he was handing out leaflets to promote June’s Armed Forces Day event on Royal Green.
When Mr Lambert realised the couple had both served in the armed forces in the war and had not been given their medals, he marched into action on their behalf and contacted the MOD’s medal office and provided officials with proof of the Ellistons’ military records.
The MOD took only two weeks to send out the medals to the couple’s home where they will now take pride of place. They also received their veteran lapel badges.
Mrs Elliston, who served with the Royal Ordnance Corps at an army supply depot in Derby and reached the rank of lance corporal, is delighted that Mr Lambert took up their cause. She said: “He is absolutely fantastic.
“He could not have done more for us – even my father could not have done more for me. It is wonderful to have the medals. I never knew we should have had them after the war ended.”
Mr Elliston, who is currently in a care home, also worked at a wartime supply depot after joining the Royal Ordnance Corps following his time with the Royal Artillery.
On Saturday, Mr Lambert visited Mrs Elliston to see her medals and told her he would make a brooch bar so she could wear them with pride when she attends local events.
Mr Lambert, who served in the Malaya emergency with the Royal Engineers, said: “A week before Armed Forces Day I was handing leaflets for it and Peggy came up to me and told me she had been in the army.
“I asked her where her medals were and she told me she never received anything. After the war, people who left the armed forces had to apply for their medals and with all the disruption going on then and with everyone getting back to their normal lives, some did not apply or were not aware they had to.
“Peggy and Jack deserve to have their medals as recognition for their role in the war – they played their part.” Mr and Mrs Elliston, who are Lowestoft born and bred, met at a dance at the Royal Hotel in the early 1960s and they married in 1967.
After the war, Mr Elliston worked as projectionist at Elstree film studios and was also employed by a labour exchange. His wife worked in Lowestoft for Harrison Mowbray tailors and Jeckells sailmakers.
■Anyone who believes that a relative may be eligible for a Defence Medal and War Medal can ring Mr Lambert on 01502 508493 for help in applying for them.
■The Lowestoft branch of the Royal Engineers Association meets at 7.30pm on the first Thursday of the month at the army reserve centre in St Peter’s Street.
■ Town’s key role in First World War – pages 12, 13