RAF hero honoured with war medals after 80 years - The Solihull Observer

RAF hero honoured with war medals after 80 years

Solihull Editorial 19th Jun, 2023   0

AN RAF veteran who bravely stepped up during the Second World War has finally been honoured for his actions.

Prince Albert Jacob ‘Jake’ was just 17 when he left his home in Trinidad and signed up to fight for the British military as the threat of the Germans loomed.

He was one of more than 5,000 West Indians to put himself in line for military service following a recruitment drive.

He said: “Many people in the West Indies were brought up to regard the United Kingdom as their Mother Country and I wanted to show my allegiance by doing whatever was possible to help the country’s war effort.”

Jake was trained for ground crew duties on his arrival in the UK.

But like all the gallant volunteers from the Caribbean Islands, Jake became a member of a Forgotten Generation.

It has taken 80 years to fully recognise the valiant part played by war heroes who showed that their defence of Britain’s need was not wanting.

A campaign was launched to honour that pledge and so Jake, at 97, was one of the recipients of a medal presented at an awards ceremony at the RAF camp in Filey, Yorkshire.

Jake said: “I have only recently been recognised for what I did and I am honoured and proud.”

He went back home after the war but came back in 1947 to work in telecommunications for the Post Office.

A year later, he married Mary who he had met in England.

In his younger days, Jake filled the limelight as a prominent athlete renowned for many fast winning times in sprint events at club and national level.

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