Pride of a war veteran as campaign medal are replaced

PRESENTATION Former navy serviceman Commander Roddy Paterson receives a replacemant set of war-time medals from, left, Dolly Adams and the Mayor of Havant Ken Smith.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (121195-2)
PRESENTATION Former navy serviceman Commander Roddy Paterson receives a replacemant set of war-time medals from, left, Dolly Adams and the Mayor of Havant Ken Smith. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121195-2)

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HAVING fought bravely as a Royal Navy Commander against German U Boats, Roddy Paterson was rightly proud of his service medals.

As a strapping, brave young man he saw action in the Arctic Circle and Atlantic.

PRESENTATION Former navy serviceman Commander Roddy Paterson.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (121195-4)

PRESENTATION Former navy serviceman Commander Roddy Paterson. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121195-4)

But the 90-year-old was left devastated when they went missing five years ago during a house move.

Mr Paterson admitted to staff at Springfield Care Home, in Emsworth, that he felt embarrassed at the town’s Remembrance service last year standing next to his comrades without the five medals.

So it came as a wonderful surprise when care assistant Dolly Adams arranged for all five to be replicated and presented to him by the Mayor of Havant.

Especially because Mr Paterson had spent years trying to get them replaced by the MoD but was told as they were not stolen he wasn’t entitled to new ones.

It means that at this month’s St George’s Day celebrations in Emsworth and November’s Remembrance Day he will wear them with pride.

Mrs Adams said: ‘Roddy’s such a wonderful person and has given so much in his life that I simply had to get his medals replaced for him.

‘I told him I’d look into the situation for him and he often used to ask for an update on his medals but I only told him the good news once they had arrived at Springfield.

‘He was really delighted, we all were.

‘The MoD will only replace medals if they have been stolen, not mislaid.

‘Fortunately the Royal British Legion pointed me in the direction of a company which replicates medals and the Bennett family which own Springfield paid for them.’

Mr Paterson fought in the Atlantic and the Arctic Circle during the war.

He served on HMS Kent, HMS Euralus, HMS Dainty and HMS Superb before becoming a submariner on HMS Tabard, when he helped to protect British and American convoys and to hunt down the dreaded German U boats and during peace time.

After his second wife Jane passed away 11 years ago Mr Paterson took to the sea again and lived on a boat, sailing between Normandy and Itchenor.

It wasn’t until two years ago he gave up sea life.

He said: ‘I only came here because I’m not a very good cook. I’m not domesticated at all so here I am.

‘I’m amazed at Dolly’s kindness, she is a very persevering woman. She succeeded where I didn’t think anyone would. On Armistice Day I felt very embarrassed going without my medals but I will wear them this year.

‘Dolly has done such a wonderful job. It’s good to hold these medals again.’

The service medals are the 1939 to 1945 Star, the Atlantic Star, the Pacific Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal.

Mr Paterson has also received the Arctic Emblem.