At the risk of him
reading this article I shall have to stop there as above all he is very
modest and will not thank me for singing his praises.
I first wrote to Dudley Shaw in 1996 to tell of my project and he wrote
back to tell me that his war service had been pushed to deepest corners
of his mind and the events of his fascinating post war life had clouded
everything. But his interest has been sparked by the 50th Anniversary
of the D-Day landings, so perhaps my timing was just right.
I sent him various regimental papers and pages from the war diaries
and gradually his experiences came to life and became a vital and important
source of information as well as a good friend, as he served in both
the 6th Bn KSLI and later transferred to the Artillery where he became
Dog troop commander.
Over the years I have visited Dudley and his wife at their lovely home
in Hampshire. One of the most exciting and rewarding spin-offs, (and
there were several) was discovering that Dudley had not been issued
with a medal to which he was entitled. I had specially asked him to
send me a photo of him wearing his medals, and recieved this in 1997
taken at a regimental reunion (see photo).
Some two years later he sent me another photo taken outside Buckingham
Palace after recieving his DSO from the King. A very nice photo, taken
in uniform, with his medal riband attached (see photo), only as my friend
Dave Gimes quickly pointed out, he had a riband for the Territorial
Efficiency Medal (TEM) which was not among his group, his army service
confirmed that he was definitley entitled to it.
I pointed this travesty out to Dudley who quickly set about applying
for his missing gong. This was duly issued on 16th May 1998; the issue
date? - 27th June 1945.
I'm pleased to say
that he now has all his medals mounted as my latest photograph will
testify (see photo)
David quickly realised that Captain Tom Stokes was also entitled to
the same award, and he to has since rectified the situation.
One can only guess how many other old soldiers have not received their
full medal entitlement. I shall tell you more about Major Shaw and his
experience at recent reunions in Europe together with more photographs.
Both the Major and
his wife have made several visits to the old battlefields of Europe
with Veterans of the 15th Scottish Division. Many of these visits involve
the unveiling of a memorial or plaque in tribute to those who liberated
their country - even after nearly 60 years these deeds are not forgotten.
Major Shaw is always very impressed that the children are brought up,
and taught at school about the war and their occupation and finally
their liberation, and amazed at their knowledge of the British units
We can only try to imagine what it is like to have your country invaded
and occupied by force. These photos are or various memorials to the
Division and their units. Perhaps when Major Shaw logs in he will identify
some of the old War Heroes??