A WAR hero has been awarded a campaign medal more than 64 years after his service.

Ken Abbott was presented with the Suez Canal Zone General Service Medal by Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, in a special ceremony at Burnley Town Hall yesterday.


Mr Abbott, 83, was joined by his daughters, Pauline and Jacqueline, as he was handed a medal for which he was eligible in 1951.

In 1949, Mr Abbott, who lives in Simonstone, joined the RAF. Two years later he was shipped out on the MV Devonshire to Port Said in Egypt and was posted to RAF Shalufah as an armament fitter during the Suez Canal crisis.

He spent three years based there, and qualified for the medal after six months. But it was not awarded to him until yesterday.

Mr Abbott said yesterday: “It is a very proud day for me and my family. It is great to finally get the medal that I am entitled to, although when you have waited 64 years what is a day or two? I found out about it in the middle of last year because of Ben Robinson at the ex-services club. He knew I was entitled to a medal.

“If I had not joined the club I would never have found about it. It is a great club and I cannot thank them enough for this.”

Mr Abbott was demobbed from the RAF in 1955 and joined Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service. He worked at several fire stations in the county but ended his career at Nelson.

He spent 26 years as a firefighter and was awarded the long-service medal before retirement.

Mr Robinson said: “Ken would have been eligible for the General Service Medal after six months and normally that would have been presented in the theatre served.

“For whatever reason that did not happen.

“Ken is a member of the ex-services club. He said he had served for about two-and-a-half years in Egypt but did not get an award.

“I knew there was a campaign medal for this conflict and I applied for the medal on Ken’s behalf. It was agreed by the Ministry of Defence that Ken was entitled to it.”