Rochdale MP calls for forces personnel from pre-1969!

February 26, 2007 2:46 PM

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen is making a plea for anyone who served in the forces before 1969 to get in touch with him. They may be eligible for the HM Armed Forces Veteran's Badge which was recently extended to include all men and women who served in the armed forces until December 31, 1969. Government figures show that there are at least 5 Million veterans nationally who have not claimed what is rightly theirs. Working out the average this means that there could be 7,300 veterans in Rochdale who have not claimed their badge.

Paul Rowen MP said, "The badge represents a token of appreciation for the ex-service men and women who have been prepared to lay down their lives to protect this country. It is important that everyone who served in the armed forces up to 1969 is able to claim their Veteran's Badge from the Ministry of Defence. As well as showing our respect to veterans, while our armed forces are engaged overseas, it is important that we continue to educate the next generation about the sacrifices made by the men and women of the armed forces. For so many eligible veterans to still be missing out is not good enough. I am calling on any constituent in Rochdale who wants information or assistance in claiming their Veteran's Badge to contact my office on 01706 712 186. They will be sent an application form along with instructions on how to go about claiming their badge. This badge publicly recognises the role of our ex-servicemen and women and also shows our deep gratitude for their contribution,"

The Government have admitted that an estimated 5 million eligible veterans across the UK have either yet to apply, or are unaware of the extension. Councillor Tom Bailey, Chairman of the Rochdale Fusiliers Association and Vice-Chairman of the Rochdale British Legion said, "I have applied for and received my badge - it is important that people are aware of the new changes and don't miss out. Those who served in the UK Armed Forces before December 31, 1969 may be entitled to the badge as well as Merchant Navy seamen, Home Guard, Polish Forces under UK command, members of the Cyprus Regiments during the Second World War, Veterans of the Suez Canal zone (1951-54) as well as, from February 1, 2005, Service personnel who leave the Armed Forces provided that they have completed five years of service. Although the badge cannot be issued posthumously as it is a survivor's badge, which is to be worn on civilian clothing, war widows or widowers who receive a War Widows' or Widowers' Pension are eligible.