A 100-YEAR-OLD veteran of World War II is to be re-awarded with his campaign medals during a special ceremony at the Guildhall on Saturday 15 August to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.
The Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Russ McPherson, recently met the veteran Mr John Jude during a Zoom call to his care home in Cambridge on the occasion of Mr Jude’s 100th birthday.
In conversation, Mr Jude told the Mayor that the wartime medals he was awarded for his service in the Royal Navy in Africa, France, Italy and Germany had been missing for some time.
Following this meeting, the Mayor and council officers contacted the Royal Navy to see if replacement medals could be presented to Mr Jude, and the Navy were very happy to assist in commissioning replacements for one of their veterans.
The Mayor and Commodore David Elford OBE ADC, Naval Regional Commander for the East of England will now be re-awarding Mr Jude with his medals as part of the VJ Day ceremony at the Guildhall on Saturday. Commodore Elford will also be giving a speech about VJ Day to the invited guests at the event.
On the same day, the Mayor will also be leading a two minute silence on the steps of the Guildhall from 11am to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, and buglers from the Royal Navy will also play the Last Post.
Cllr McPherson said: “It was an absolute honour and privilege not only to have met Mr Jude on his 100th birthday, but for the meeting to have been my very first official engagement as the new Mayor of Cambridge.
“When we learned that his medals had passed into history we felt very strongly that we needed to do something about it, and the amazing co-operation and enthusiasm of both the Royal Navy and the Mayor’s Executive Assistant has got us to where we are now.
“I am immensely proud and pleased that in some small way we are able to help mark Mr Jude’s magnificent achievements both as a respected former member of his majesty’s armed forces in wartime and in reaching 100 years.
“To be able to return his medals to him in what will undoubtedly be a momentous and moving ceremony on the very day that marks the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day, will be a moment which will live with all of us for a very long time indeed.”
Another event paying tribute to the local men who served in the Far East in World War II is being held on Friday 14 August at the Guildhall.