Fresh hope in medal campaign
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