GALLERY: People of Earby honour war veterans

6:00pm Monday 26th November 2012

By Chris Adams

A SECOND group of war veterans have been given the freedom of a Pendle town at a civic ceremony.

Earby Town Council honoured seven men and women at the event in New Road Community Centre on Saturday evening.

In June this year, 23 other veterans were also rec-ognised for their efforts in the Second World War.

The seven recipients, from Earby, Kelbrook and Salter-forth, were traced after organisers appealed for families of those who missed out first time round to come forward.

Marie Keating (née Bellamy), Lilian Bradley, Vera Bradwell (née Cant), Clive Foster, Dennis Peachey, Reginald Russell and Edwin Arthur Watson were those decorated.

Each person was awarded a silver salver, a letter from the Queen and the Freedom of Earby, a purely cere-monial title given to those who have represented the town in some exceptional capacity. The project was the brainchild of town councillors James Spence, himself a Gulf War veteran, and Vera Cocker, who wanted to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with lasting recognition for ex-service people from the area.

It was an event tinged with sadness, however, as chairman of the town council, Coun Chris Tennant, told of the deaths of three of the award’s previous recipients.

Jack Eastwood and Jim Wiseman, both 91 and William Walton, 93, have all passed away since June’s event.

Accepting her award, Mrs Keating, who served in the Signals Division of the Women’s Auxiliary Corps, said: “I was proud and honoured to have served in the Army and it is wonderful to pick up this award.”

Martin Foster accepted an award on behalf of his father Clive, who served in the Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arms, but now lives in Lockerbie in Scotland.

Mr Foster said: “I’m going up to see him in tomorrow and I know he’s really proud to be receiving this.

Around 80 people attended the ceremony and were treated to a per-formance from Earby Brass Band and refreshments provided by Earby Develop-ment Group.

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