Final honour for soldier

RICHARD PARR Like most schoolboys, Jamie Rout always enjoyed listening to stories of his granddad's wartime adventures. But for years, former Japanese prisoner of war Edward “Jimmy” Rout was unable to show his young grandson the four campaign medals he earned serving with the 5th Norfolk Regiment in the second world war.

RICHARD PARR

Like most schoolboys, Jamie Rout always enjoyed listening to stories of his granddad's wartime adventures.

But for years, former Japanese prisoner of war Edward “Jimmy” Rout was unable to show his young grandson the four campaign medals he earned serving with the 5th Norfolk Regiment in the second world war.

He had never bothered to apply for them 60 years ago, and it was only when his family and Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham took up the case last year that they finally arrived.

Sadly, Mr Rout only had the medals for a few months and never wore them in public before his death, aged 86.

But today nine-year-old Jamie will proudly wear them on his chest as he walks with his family behind Mr Rout's coffin at his funeral at All Saint's Church, Burnham Sutton in Burnham Market.

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The soldier, who marked his 21st birthday by being taken prisoner by the Japanese and was a PoW for more than three years, left the medals to young Jamie in his will to ensure

they stayed in the family.

When he received his long-awaited medals Mr Rout told the EDP: “I had given up hope of having them in my hands and I never thought I would live to see them.”

Jamie said: “I am really pleased that granddad left me his medals and I will always treasure them and look after them.”

Jamie's father and Mr Rout's son, Tony Rout, said that after the funeral they plan to put the medals in a frame alongside a picture taken by the EDP last year for a story about him finally getting his long-awaited recognition.

After being demobbed, Mr Rout returned to his work on the local farms around his birthplace village of Burnham Market.

He and his wife, Joan, had six children and celebrated their diamond wedding last year. Mrs Rout died just 10 weeks before her husband.

Mr Rout was known as a local character in the village and used to go for a pint every Saturday night to his local pub. He was a familiar figure on his bicycle and people would wave to him as he cycled along.