Grandson appeals for help to get Dunkirk Medal for late grandfather

Private Gordon Wilson.

A Wensleydale man is looking for help to get a medal for his late grandfather who fought in the Second World War.

Private Gordon Wilson served with the Durham Light Infantry and was evacuated at Dunkirk.

All British soldiers who were rescued from the port were entitled to the Dunkirk Medal which was presented by the people of the French town, but Mr Wilson never applied.

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He was just 20 at the time and after the war went back to working as a miner on Wearside, rarely talking about his time in the military.

However, his grandson, James Wilson, 41, from Bainbridge, is now hoping to get the medal his grandfather was entitled to but never received.

Father-of-four James wants to give the medal to his own children as a way of bringing his family history to life.

He hopes the medal will also help his children understand more about the Second World War, which he says can seem a long time ago to young people.

He said: “The town of Dunkirk awarded the medals after war time with a certificate.

“Anyone that could prove they were there was eligible, but granddad never applied.

“He was a miner before the war and went back down the pit after it finished – I don’t think he wanted to be reminded of the war as his other medals stayed in a draw as I remember.”

James said he could buy a medal off eBay or a replica but it would not be the same.

He has already tried the Ministry of Defence but without success – the Durham Light Infantry disbanded in 1968.

He added: “My next plan was to try French associations but it’s all that long ago.

“Granddad was 20 when he was at Dunkirk and would have been 97 this year so there won’t be many left from those days.”

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