‘Anyone who puts their life on line for country deserves recognition’, claims Salford MP Hazel Blears

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson

Greater Manchester’s war veterans are to be honoured in a ceremony held by Salford and Eccles MP Hazel Blears next month.

The service – at the Pendleton Royal British Legion in Langworthy – will recognise the armed forces’ heroic contribution via a special Veterans’ Badge, for which all ex-forces members are eligible.

Introduced in 2004, the badge aims to secure recognition for veterans who have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, including Volunteer and Regular Reserves.

And Blears has urged any ex-member of the forces in her constituency – yet to receive the accolade – to come forward.

She said: “All our brave ex-service personnel, who in many cases have put their lives on the line for their country, deserve recognition.

“The Veterans’ Badge is a simple way of helping to secure that recognition, and it is something people can wear with pride.

“It has been an honour to meet some of the local ex-service men and women who have made an incredible contribution to our armed forces at the annual Veterans’ Ceremony here in Salford.”

At the event, which is free to attend for families of those being recognised, constituents awarded the accolade will be presented with it by Ms Blears.

Swinton author Neil Blower, a former soldier turned war novelist, will also be among those attending the ceremony.

Blower, who served in Kosovo and Iraq, wrote the book ‘Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins’ and spoke in glowing terms about the occasion.

He said: “Last year was a great event – I really enjoyed it and was honoured to be asked to speak.

“It is important that people who have served this country are recognised and it is great that Hazel Blears is marking the sacrifice they have made.

“The ceremony is also a good opportunity to meet other veterans in the local community and it should be a fantastic occasion.”

Meanwhile Derrick Corfield, co-ordinating chairman of Salford, Broughton and Pendleton’s Remembrance Sunday Meeting, will be present as an existing badge-holder and spoke of his honour.

“I have had my badge for a few years now,” he said. “I wear it on my jacket and some people will ask what it is.

“I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who have still not had the recognition they deserve.

“People have earned this badge, so they should claim it.”

Any former services personnel who would like assistance in applying for a badge can contact Ms Blears’ office on 0161 925 0705.

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