Dunkirk veteran who did not collect his medals to avoid ‘glorifying’ the conflict finally receives them… on his 100th birthday
- Dunkirk veteran finally receives his medals from conflict on his 100th birthday
- Doug Jones had refused them to avoid ‘glorifying’ the second world war
- He was given the medals in a frame as a birthday present by son Mick, 73
A Dunkirk veteran who did not collect his medals to avoid ‘glorifying’ the conflict has finally received them – on his 100th birthday.
Doug Jones, who was evacuated on a commandeered French ferry, never applied for his medals after witnessing the horrors of war.
But the centenarian, who served until 1946, was presented with the medals in a frame as a birthday present from his son Mick, 73. Among the array of honours were the Africa Star, the 1st Army Clasp to Africa Star, the Palestine 1945-48 and the Italy Star.
Dunkirk veteran Doug Jones, who was evacuated on a commandeered French ferry, has received his medals on his 100th birthday. He had not collected them because he did not want to risk ‘glorifying’ the conflict
He was given them as a birthday present by his 73-year-old son Mick. (Pictured: Mr Jones with his wife Norah on their wedding day)
Mr Jones, a former bus driver who has 12 great-grandchildren, was at his birthday party with wife Nora, 96, and family. He said: ‘It was a lovely day. I didn’t know I was so popular!’
Speaking about being at Dunkirk, he said: ‘My regiment put the final barriers down before we left Dunkirk.
‘I spent the day on the beach and the Germans kept coming over and having a go at us.
‘I remember getting on the ferry and the next thing I knew we were pulling in to Dover. The first thing to greet us was an explosion just outside Dover.
‘But we all got back safe and they put us on a train and ferried us to various parts of the country.’
Mr Jones also received a birthday card from the Queen, but it is not the first royal communication he has had – he and Nora receive an anniversary card from Her Majesty every year as they have been married for 76 years.
Among the array of honours were the Africa Star, the 1st Army Clasp to Africa Star, the Palestine 1945-48 and the Italy Star. (Pictured: MR Jones holding the medals with grandchildren Ollie, Emma and Hannah and his wife Norah
Mr Jones, a former bus driver who has 12 great-grandchildren, was at his birthday party with wife Nora, 96, and family. He said: ‘It was a lovely day. I didn’t know I was so popular!’ (Pictured: Mr Jones with his medals and granddaughter Gina)
Norah said: ‘It was a marvellous day, but it was Doug’s day.
‘We’ve got a good family and lots of friends, you just take it for granted don’t you until you see them all together.
‘We got married in 1942 and we just get on and we still love each other like we did.’
Son Mick organised the party at his house in Bolton, Gtr Manchester, and arranged for Mr Jones’ medals to be minted for him.
He said: ‘My dad finished the war in Italy and saw Mt Vesuvius when it last erupted in 1944.
‘I took him back on holiday about 16 years ago and the tour guide was telling us about the last eruption – he was shocked when I told him dad had seen it happen.
‘He never spoke much about the war. I don’t think he wanted to glorify something when he had lost so many of his comrades.
‘We only sent for his medals a couple of months ago and they came quite quickly.
‘He was quite moved when we presented them to him.
‘It was a fantastic day. It was quite emotional really, most people my age don’t have one living parent, never mind two.’