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Veteran Brian gets his medal...53 yrs on.

Byline: Andrew Hirst ,

at long lastBrian Woods with his medal and (right) on duty at the Suez Canal in 1952

AN Army veteran has finally got his hands on a medal he earned 53 years ago.

Almondbury man Brian Woods, 74, served in Egypt in 1952, in the run-up to the Suez Crisis.

He discovered just last year that he could claim the Suez Canal Zone Medal.

He applied, but bungling bureaucrats posted some of the medals to Army veterans in the wrong envelopes.

The mistake was made in a new Army medals department which opened in March.

It now appears that Brian's medal lay on a doormat in London for the best part of a month.

The man who lives there - another army veteran - had been in Cornwall.

Brian wrote off for his medal in April last year ... then waited ... and waited.

He thought his wait was over when a little brown package arrived - but even though it was addressed to him someone else's medal was inside.

This man lived in Dorset and Brian contacted him to pass the medal on, and also in the hope that he had received Brian's medal by mistake - but, no.

The other man had received a medal - but it was for an ex-soldier in Wales.

Brian's was eventually found in London and returned to the medal office.

Brian said: "It's been worth the wait - but it's been a long wait."

The medal is the General Service Medal 1918-1962, with the new clasp for service in the Suez Canal Zone between October, 1951, and October, 1954.

A spokesman for the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency, said: "This appears to have been a case of human error, with the wrong medals being put in the wrong envelopes.

"We think this only happened to eight envelopes out of the many thousands we sent out, but we would like to apologise profusely to those people who have received the wrong medals."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 18, 2005
Words:324
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