Monday, 24 January 2011

Mark Reckless MP 'Delighted' To Present Medal To Local Hero

Mark Reckless MP was delighted to present local hero James Hargreaves with his GSM Medal with clasp Near East after taking up his case with the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Picture: Mark Reckless MP with local hero James Hargreaves. Photo courtesy of Medway Messenger.

James, of Cliffe Woods, had previously been unable to get the MoD to accept his claim for the medal following his service with the 40th Field Regiment Royal Artillery during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Mr Hargreaves sailed out from Cardiff on the US ship S.S. Kingsbury to the conflict zone with a small complement from his Regiment.

Although the ship was on the list of those eligible for the GSM with Near East clasp, the MoD had previously turned down James's request for the medal as the deployment was not shown on his service record.

In a bid to resolve the situation James turned to Mark Reckless to help break the deadlock with the MoD, and Mark was more than happy to take up the case on behalf of his constituent.

After contacting the Medal Office asking them to review Mr Hargreaves' case, the MoD wrote back to advise they would look into the matter. Shortly thereafter the MoD confirmed that, following Mark's intervention, they had agreed to issue the medal to James for his service during the Suez Crisis.

Speaking after meeting Mr Hargreaves, Mark said:

"I was absolutely delighted when I heard that the Medal Office had agreed to issue Mr Hargreaves with his GSM with clasp Near East.

Mr Hargreaves had tried for a long time to get the Ministry of Defence to review his claim for the medal, but had had no joy in doing so and subsequently asked for my assistance.

I was able to write to the MoD as Mr Hargreaves' Member of Parliament to insist they look into the case, and I am glad to report that the matter has now been resolved to my constituent's satisfaction.

Being able to help people like Mr Hargreaves was the primary reason why I entered politics. Casework is a large part of the role of being an MP, and I am honoured to be in the position to help a local hero like James gain the recognition he so richly deserves.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet James in person and thank him for his service to our country. I hope the medal will be a source of pride and pleasure for him for many years to come."

In response to the meeting, James Hargreaves said:

"I'd like to thank Mark most sincerely for his help and assistance in procuring my GSM and clasp Near East. I am sure that without Mark's help I would still be trying to obtain it.

Thank you again."


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