Delyn MP David Hanson is urging all surviving Bevin Boys to come forward and claim their unique Bevin Boys badge. The award is available to all surviving Bevin Boys and formally recognises the sacrifices made in the UK coalfields during and immediately after World War Two.
The Bevin Boys scheme was introduced in 1943 by then Minister for Labour and National Service, Ernest Bevin, in response to an increasing shortage of labour in the coal mining industry. The scheme ran between 1943 and 1948 and involved recruiting men aged between 18 and 25 years to work in coal mines rather than serve in the armed forces. Some 48,000 men were either selected or volunteered under the scheme.
Of the 48,000 Bevin Boys some 43% were conscripted directly into the mines and are known more generally as “ballotees”. The remaining 57% were those who opted for mine work in preference to joining the Armed Forces or those who were in the Armed Forces and volunteered to become miners. Only those who fall into these categories will be eligible for the Badge.
Famous Bevin Boys included Sir Jimmy Savile, Lord Brian Rix and the late Eric Morecambe.
David Hanson said:
“I am urging all surviving Bevin Boys to come forward to claim this unique veterans badge as a tribute to their sacrifices during and after the Second World War. These heroes in our community helped to keep the coal fields running during the war and in the post-war reconstruction of Britain.
“Hundreds of people in Delyn have come forward to collect their veterans badge and it is with honour and gratitude that we recognise the tremendous work of the Bevin Boys with the award of this special badge.
“It is important that we never forget the sacrifices that were made both at home and abroad during the war. If you are a Bevin Boy, or you know someone who is, please come forward to claim this fitting tribute.
“The application form for the badge is now available and can be obtained by calling the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency helpline on 0800 169 2277 or by visitinghttp://www.veterans-uk.info. Alternatively you can contact my office and i would be delighted to help. If you would like any further informationplease contact my office on 01352 763159, write to 64 Chester Street, Flint, Flintshire CH6 5DH or emailhansond(at)parliament.uk.”
All Bevin Boys, be they ballottees, optants or volunteers, are eligible to apply. Applications will also be accepted from widows of Bevin Boys who passed away on or after the 20 June 2007, the date when the announcement of the badge was made. This is provided a copy of the marriage and death certificate are attached to the application form.
The first badges will be issued in March next year, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the demobbing of the last Bevin Boy.