A lady in her late 90s has been presented with a medal recognising services to her country more than 70 years after the end of World War II.
Currently residing at Grosvenor Manor care centre on Hatchmere Lane in Chester, 97-year-old Joan Hall has received a prestigious veterans badge thanking her for the work she carried out as part of the 329 Search Light Battery Platoon attached to the Royal Artillery between the years of 1942-1946.
The long-awaited medal was presented to Joan at a small but special ceremony attended by her closest family and coinciding with Victory in Japan Day (VJ Day) last weekend.
It was a proud moment for all involved, but especially for Joan who was delighted to receive the recognition 74 years after she left the service. The team at Grosvenor Manor made it a happy day to remember with a socially distanced garden party, afternoon tea and vintage songs from the Golden Age Songbird, Anna Beaumont.
Joan said: “Wartime was difficult for all involved, but we pulled together and I have many very special memories of my time with the Land Girls helping to support our troops out in the field and ensuring the ‘back office’ operations ran smoothly here at home. I am surprised and delighted to receive this medal so long after the war and humbled that the team at Grosvenor has gone to such trouble to organise a lovely day for me.”
Wellbeing coordinator at Grosvenor Manor Lisa Forth said: “Joan has always spoken fondly about her time in the army and is proud to have served her country. We are so pleased that she has been recognised with this medal and wanted to ensure a memorable day for all despite the current situation with coronavirus.”
Joan enjoyed a wonderful career with the army during WWII. Aged just 19, she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and was called up in 1942 receiving her papers to go to a training camp in Lancaster. Once in Lancaster, she received her uniform and commenced work in operations releasing the male soldiers to go out onto the search light sites.
She was finally transferred to London to work in the pay office. When she ended her career, she received her discharge papers with a little note from her Sergeant Major who commended her on her good service and loyal support to the office.
Lisa concludes: “Joan leads a very full and active life here at Grosvenor Manor but it is important to us to remember and celebrate our residents lives and memories, so it was very special to share in this proud moment from Joan’s past with her.”