Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Thurrock soldier, killed in World War Two, has medals presented to brother 70 years on

The last of five brothers was presented with his late sibling’s Second World War medals – after he was killed in action 70 years ago.

Gordon Lay, 85, is the last of five brothers, who all served in the armed forces, but unfortunately the family had lost those medals belonging to Grenadier Guardsman John Lay, who was killed in action in April 1945.

Guardsman Lay had joined the Army as a 14 year old in September 1938 and was sent to France in June 1944 with the 2nd Armoured Battalion, forming part of the Guards Armoured Division.

He was killed on 10 April, 1945 at Eggermuhlen in Germany.

Guardsman Lay was awarded the 1939-45 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, and the War Medal.

Gordon Lay had approached the forces charity SSAFA to help him obtain replacement medals.

And on Monday, Brian Turner the Divisional Secretary SSADA, Basildon and Thurrock Branch, and John Burrow, chair of the Essex Branch of SAFFA joined Gordon and his partner Joyce Godden in the Mayor’s parlour at the Civic Offices, Grays, for the presentation by the Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Sue Gray.

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Gray said: "Gordon Lay was so lovely, he and his brothers were born in Davy Down cottage so we had both enjoyed playing along the Mardyke as kids – all be it 20 years apart.

"What a small world we live in."


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