Fresh hope in medal cam­paign

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

A WAR vet­eran cam­paign­ing to broaden el­i­gi­bil­ity for the Bomber Com­mand Clasp has been given fresh hope thanks to sup­port from Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley.

Theo Eaves, 93, flew 35 mis­sions in Welling­ton bombers dur­ing the con­flict but has been barred from re­ceiv­ing a mil­i­tary dec­o­ra­tion be­cause he flew from an air base that doesn’t qual­ify.

In 2013 af­ter years of cam­paign­ing by vet­er­ans, the Gov­ern­ment awarded the Bomber Com­mand Clasp to air­crew in recog­ni­tion of their brav­ery and ser­vice.

But de­spite be­ing equally as in­stru­men­tal, those who took part in bomb­ing raids over Italy, Africa, the Mid­dle East and the Far East are not el­i­gi­ble for the award, which has been re­served for those who flew over Western Europe.

Theo, a widow, fa­ther of two and grand­fa­ther of two, launched an on­line pe­ti­tion last month and at the last count had 4,264 sig­na­tures. He needs 10,000 to get a for­mal re­sponse from the Gov­ern­ment and 100,000 to have the is­sue de­bated in Par­lia­ment.

Mr Rut­ley is sup­port­ing Theo’s cam­paign and has now man­aged to con­vince Min­is­ter of State Earl Howe, who is re­spon­si­ble for medal­lic recog­ni­tion, to re­view his case us­ing his RAF log book, which recorded all his wartime op­er­a­tions.

Mr Rut­ley said: “Mr Eaves demon­strated the great­est courage in the line of duty dur­ing the sec­ond World War.

“His log book shows the very chal­leng­ing mis­sions that he was in­volved in, and I am pleased that Earl Howe has of­fered to look more closely into Mr Eaves’ case.

“It is im­por­tant that his brav­ery should be prop­erly recog­nised.”

Theo said: “As we come near to Re­mem­brance Day mem­o­ries come flood­ing back of com­rades we lost all those years ago.

“If I can re­verse the de­ci­sion, rel­a­tives of those young men will get the recog­ni­tion due.”

To sup­port Theo visit pe­ti­tion.par­lia­ment.uk/ pe­ti­tions/107432.

●● David Rut­ley with Min­is­ter of State Earl Howe dis­cussing Poyn­ton vet­eran Theo Eaves medal cam­paign. Theo, be­low, flew 35 mis­sions over Italy, Africa and the Mid­dle East dur­ing the Sec­ond World War

●● The 1st Poyn­ton Brown­ies unit be­ing handed £410 from Waitrose in Poyn­ton through its Com­mu­nity Mat­ters Green To­ken scheme

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