John ‘overwhelmed’ as he receives medal

John Mildenhall, 88, with friends, family and staff at Forest View care home in Burgess Hill. Picture supplied by Freshwater
John Mildenhall, 88, with friends, family and staff at Forest View care home in Burgess Hill. Picture supplied by Freshwater

A former serviceman from Burgess Hill was ‘overwhelmed’ after receiving a National Service medal and veteran’s pin.

John Mildenhall has just celebrated his 88th birthday with friends, family and staff at Forest View care home in Burgess Hill.

John Mildenhall and his wife Anne. Picture: Freshwater

John Mildenhall and his wife Anne. Picture: Freshwater

He was honoured at the celebration by the chairman of Mid Sussex Council, Councillor Peter Reed, 70 years after joining the RAF, aged 18.

He said: “I am so overwhelmed by all of this. Thank you so much.”

The celebrations for John, who regularly attends day care at the care home, included a buffet and live musical entertainment.

This was funded by donations from Mathew Gallager of P and S Gallagher funeral directors in Burgess Hill and Tim Wheeler of Wheelbase Garage Service.

Chris Aldridge, team leader at Forest View care home, spends his time encouraging visitors to reminisce and recall stories from their past, prompting residents to share.

Chris said John would ‘happily share’ his experiences of his time with the RAF, and how he was stationed in West Kirby and Bedfordshire, before moving to Gloucester.

During one of these discussions, John recited his ID number and Chris, with the support of John’s family, contacted the Home Office so that his medals could be sent.

Shaw healthcare, which operates the care home, covered the cost of purchasing and shipping the medal to John.

The medal has been given pride of place by John and his wife of 60 years Anne.

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