Apprentice engineers scoop top gongs at major show

James Rhodes from Waterlooville with the medal he and his surviving shipmates have have been awarded for their work on the supply convoys which helped The Netherlands during the second world war     
Picture Ian Hargreaves  (181100-1)

Merchant navy veteran ‘elated’ with war medal after seven-decade battle for recognition

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A NAVAL engineering apprentice has scooped a top award at a major skills competition.

Leading Air Engineering Technician Michael Lee, 27, achieved ‘silver’ in the finals of the Aeronautical Engineering: Avionics category of The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

The apprentice, who is based at the Defence College of Technical Training’s Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School, at HMS Sultan in Gosport, narrowly missed out on gold, being pipped by QinetiQ avionics apprentice Matthew Milford, of Portsmouth.

Michael, who joined the navy five years ago, said: ‘The Skills Show was really interesting. It was really rewarding to take part and step outside of my comfort zone.

‘I’m not sure how far I was off achieving gold as they don’t release the marks, but I can’t have been too far off and I’m just glad I didn’t come last.’

The show was attended by about 88,000 spectators from across the country.