Veterans

Veteran Who Lost Medals Presented With New Set

The Second World War veteran was presented with a new set of medals by the Royal Navy and the Mayor of Cambridge.

A 100-year-old veteran who lost his service medals has been presented with a new set at a VJ Day ceremony in Cambridge.

John Jude, who joined the Royal Navy at 19 and saw action across Europe during the Second World War, was given the honours as a 100th birthday present.

The former gunner said he was proud to receive the medals, which were given to him by the Mayor of Cambridge and the Royal Navy.

He said: “I never thought this would happen, I never, not an inkling did I know that this would happen.

“But it has, and I’m proud of what’s happened.”

Mr Jude served for 12 years, with one of his ships, HMS Naiad, suffering torpedo damage from German aircraft during operations in Crete.

His memories of the war were mixed, as he told Forces News: “Some of them were atrocious, really, they were, they were definitely atrocious.

“Others were heroic, there’s no doubt about that. I saw men who were not, become men who were.”

The idea to present Mr Jude with a new set of medals came from the Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Russ McPherson, who worked with the Royal Navy to hold the ceremony on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

"It seemed the correct day to do it, and the Navy were very, very keen that we did it on that day… and I think it was the correct thing to do, we’ve had a great day," he said.

The presentation was led by Commodore David Elford, the Naval Regional Commander for the East of England, who said Mr Jude gave him a "running critique" as he went through his speech.

"I think I got it all right and I think he was very pleased with what was said about him," he said.

VJ Day honours those who fought in the Far East during the Second World War before victory was claimed over Japan on 15 August 1945.

The ceremony included a two minute silence at 11am and a reception in which Mr Jude recounted stories from his own history.