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RAF Vet Receives Medal Almost 70 Years After Egypt Service

ROYAL Air Force veteran Frank Thickett has been awarded a medal for his service in Egypt almost 70 years ago.

Frank was a sergeant in the RAF posted to the Suez Canal Zone in the early 1950s, when the vital waterway was under disputed British control.

Now a resident at Burton Closes Hall Care Home, in Bakewell, Derbyshire, he received the General Service Medal with ‘Canal Zone’ clasp after the home’s former manager Carl J D Fisher submitted an application on his behalf.

Frank was born in Stockport in September 1922 and joined the RAF after leaving school at 14 years old, becoming a fitter engineer.

He was later posted to the Suez Canal Zone after Egypt rejected the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 and attempted to take control of the territory in 1951.

In October 1954, the UK agreed to remove its troops, and the withdrawal was completed in July 1956.

After leaving the RAF, Frank became a toolmaker for the Home Guard, which was originally disbanded after WW2 and briefly revived between 1952-57.

When he left the armed forces, he became a manager for Philips Electronics, later moving to Buxton to live with his son Jonathan following ill health.

Bakewell’s Mayor Cllr Steve Edwards presented Frank with the General Service Medal at Burton Closes Hall Care Home, on Haddon Road.

Frank’s family, friends and chairman of the Royal British Legion Bakewell Branch Gary Morewood, all attended the ceremony.

Frank, 95, who moved to the care home in 2017 and has dementia, said: “It is an honour to receive the medal.”

Hazel Jones, home manager, said: “Frank is a beloved resident and friend of the staff and fellow residents at Burton Closes Hall Care Home.

“He is very deserved of this wonderful honour and we’re so pleased he has been recognised for his service almost 70 years ago.

“We held a wonderful ceremony to mark the occasion. Our thanks go to both Mayor Cllr Edwards and Mr Moorhead from the Bakewell RBL for attending.”

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