John Mildenhall was presented with the medal and pin by Councillor Peter Reed, chairman of Mid Sussex Council, as he celebrated his 88th birthday with friends, family and staff at Forest View care home in Burgess Hill.
The celebrations for John, who regularly attends day care at the home, included a buffet and live musical entertainment. This was funded by donations from Mathew Gallager of P&S Gallager Funeral Directors and Tim Wheeler of Wheelbase Garage Service.
Chris Aldridge, team leader at Forest View, spends his time encouraging visitors to reminisce and recall stories from their past, prompting residents to share. John would happily share his experiences of his time with the RAF, and how he was stationed in West Kirby and then Bedfordshire, before moving onto Gloucester.
During one of these discussions, John recited his ID number and Chris, with the support of John’s family, contacted the Home Office so that his medals could be sent. Shaw healthcare, which operates the care home, covered the cost of purchasing and shipping the medal to John.
The medal now takes pride of place in John and his wife of 60 years, Anne’s home.
John commented: “I am so overwhelmed by all of this. Thank you so much.”