Service Personnel & Veterans Agency Logo

Veterans-UK Logo

Welcome to the Veterans UK website - Free Veterans Helpline 0800 169 22 77



On 30 March, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans, Kevan Jones MP, presented veterans from Wandsworth, Mitcham, Kettering and West Sussex with medals and HM Armed Forces Veterans Badges in the Houses of Parliament. The event, aimed at raising awareness of the support provided by the Ministry of Defence’s Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA), was attended by MPs and members of the House of Lords.  SPVA’s services include pay and HR for the Armed Forces, casualty reporting and repatriation, engraving and despatch of medals, compensation schemes for those injured or bereaved through Service and pensions and welfare support for those who have left the Forces.

Kevan Jones MP said:

“We owe a great deal to our Armed Forces and veterans and it’s a real privilege for me to be able to make this presentation of medals and badges today. There are thousands of veterans and serving personnel across the country and it’s really important to ensure they are aware of the support provided for them by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency”.

Receiving their medals and HM Armed Forces Veterans badges were:

Mr Harold Lipscombe Mr Harold Lipscombe (89) from Wandsworth received the Defence Medal and War Medal 1939-45, some 75 years after first joining the Army.  Mr Lipscombe served with the Territorial Army from 1934 to 1938 before being called up to the colours in February 1940, joining the 7th Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment, in Surrey.  After Service in Scotland, he set sail for Singapore on 3 December 1941. Whilst at sea, news arrived that Singapore had fallen to the Japanese and after several weeks in Durban, he was posted to Karachi (then in India) arriving in February 1942. Mr Lipscombe’s battalion then moved forward to the North West Frontier region of Peshawar, where he saw Service throughout the region, including the Khyber Pass.  In 1943, Mr Lipscombe transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps.  He re-trained as a Plaster Technician and moved to No 1 India Base Orthopaedics Hospital in Karachi, where he stayed until his return to the United Kingdom in September 1945. In all, he served 3 years 288 days in India.

Mr Chrispopher Calver Mr Christopher Calver (50), from Mitcham, received his HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge.  Mr Calver joined the Royal Navy in 1976.  He served onboard several ships, including HMS Norfolk, HMS Hermes and HMS Apollo, seeing Service in the Persian Gulf.  Shortly before Christmas 1980, HMS Apollo was chosen for prestigious escort duties to the Royal Yacht Britannia, where Mr Calver had the honour of guarding Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip during a six week visit to North Africa.  Mr Calver left the Royal Navy in 1981.

Mr Kenneth Murray Mr Kenneth Murray (90), from Kettering received his HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge.  Mr Murray joined the Royal Air Force in 1938.  Following training at Cranwell and then Upper Heyford, he was posted to France immediately after war was declared, serving as a radio operator in bombers. In 1940, he was shot down by friendly fire, but managed to escape over the enemy lines and back into allied territory. Thanks to a local farmer, he made his way to Boulogne and was evacuated as the Dunkirk evacuation began.On the morning of Sunday June 30th 1940, he was in one of 4 Blenheims shot down by the Germans whilst over Northern France. He was taken prisoner and spent the remainder of the war in captivity. He initially spent time as a POW near Brussels and later moved through Germany and Poland as part of the ‘Great March’, enduring almost constant hunger and bitter cold.  After the war ended, Mr Murray returned to the UK and served until 1946. Mr Murray was presented with his veterans badge after his son contacted SPVA and asked if it was possible to do something special to mark his father’s 90th birthday.

Mr and Mrs Toon
Mrs Susan Toon (61) and Mr Howard Toon (62) from Lancing, West Sussex also received their HM Armed Forces Veterans Badges. Husband and wife, Susan and Howard Toon have between them given some 45 years Service to the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, training youngsters in the Air Cadets.  Mrs Toon has completed 15 years and Mr Toon 30 years Service.  During this time, they trained the team that won the Air Squadron Trophy, awarded to the best Combined Cadet Force air cadet unit in the country, with the only perfect 100% score ever achieved.   Having retired from uniformed service, Mr Toon now continues to work as a civilian volunteer with 226 (Brighton) Sqn Air Training Corps. 


Notes to Editors:

For Further Information

For further information, please contact David Johnson, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency press office on 01253 333041 or 07717 882014.

For Further Information

For further information, please contact David Johnson, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency press office on 01253 333041 or 07717 882014.



Top of page