Ken waits 64 years for medal honour

Ken Abbott in his younger years
Ken Abbott in his younger years
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The wait is over for a Simonstone war hero who will finally receive his campaign medal for service – overdue by almost 64 years.

Kenneth “Bud” Abbott (84), who served in the Royal Air Force from 1949 to 1954, was shipped out on the MC Devonshire to Port Said in Egypt, in 1951, and was posted to RAF Shallufah as an armament fitter during the Suez Canal Crisis.

Kenneth Bud Abbott

Kenneth Bud Abbott

Father-of-two Ken would have been elegible for the General Service Medal (Suez Canal Zone) after six months, but he was unaware he was entitled to one and didn’t ever receive a medal.

When he was demobbed in 1955, he joined Lancashire Fire Brigade, in Preston, and was stationed at several fire stations during his service – his last station being Nelson where he spent 26 years as a fire-fighter and was also the receipient of the Fire Brigade Long Service Medal.

It wasn’t until Ken met Ben Robinson, one of the three founder members of Burnley and Pendle Ex-Services Club, based in Burnley, and he discovered he should have been awarded a medal in 1951/52 – 64 years ago.

Ben said: “After having a conversation with Ken, I discovered he had served for about two-and-a-half years in Egypt, but didn’t receive an award. I knew there was a campaign medal for this conflict and I decided to apply for his medal on his behalf. We were delighted when he heard it was agreed by the Ministry of Defence and Ken was entitled to it.”

On Monday (April 27th), Ken will be presented his long-awaited medal at Burnley Town Hall by Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth. Also present will be Burnley Mayor and his mayoress, Andy Tatchell and his wife, Lorna, members of the Burnley and Pendle Ex-Services Club, Ken’s family and friends, pupils from Hameldon Community College and the Cadet Forces.