Bevin Boy Jack honoured for his services

Chairman of Richmondshire District Council, Councillor Bill Glover, presents Jack with his Bevin medal.

Lifelong Richmondshire resident Jack Birdsall has been honoured for his services to his country.

The 92-year-old former Bevin Boy has been presented with a commemorative medal to mark his three years’ service in the Durham mines in the 1940s.

Born in Richmond Jack joined REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) in 1942 becoming one of the first civilian apprentices at the Catterick Camp workshops.

Two years later he received his conscription papers and discovered he was one of 48,000 selected by ballot to go down the mines.

The Bevin scheme ensured a plentiful supply of manpower to meet the wartime needs for coal.

Jack’s conscription ended in 1947, at which time he returned to REME, where he worked until his retirement in 1985.

Jack has been awarded the Imperial Service Medal for his service.

He now lives in Richmond.