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Veterans are honoured guests at Telford VJ Day event

By Toby Neal | Oakengates | News | Published:

A 94-year-old soldier from the "Forgotten Army" was an honoured guest at a VJ Day commemoration held by Oakengates and District branch of the Royal British Legion.

Les on left, Stan, and Oakengates branch standard bearer Dennis Briggs.

Burma Star veteran Les Brayne, along with Stanley Burgess, a 98-year-old veteran of the bloody Monte Cassino battle in Italy, attended the event at the Poppy Cross in Hartshill Park, Oakengates.

Branch secretary Moira Wallace said the low key event with social distancing in place was led by branch chaplain the Rev Kevin Evans, who delivered a short service. This was followed by the Last Post and wreath laying.

Les and Stan, who are both residents in Cartlidge House, Oakengates, joined branch members from a distance.

Moira said: "Les Brayne was born in Oakengates and has lived most of his life in the area. Les joined the Army and his battalion. The 2nd Royal Welsh Regiment was part of the British 14th Army, The Forgotten Army, fighting in the Far East.

"Les was awarded the Burma Star for his service in this campaign, and is very proud of his time in the Army.

"Les went to Wrockwardine Wood School and on leaving became an amateur boxer before the war. After the war, Les went on to work locally firstly at the New Yard, and then Sankey’s where he became a union representative. He also served on the local council for many years.

"Just prior to Saturday’s service Les was reunited with a Burma Star medal. Unfortunately Les lost his medal, and we bought him an approved replica so that he had one to wear on the day."

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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