May 2020 saw the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. In commemorating this anniversary, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council agreed to recognise the service of surviving veterans living in the district.  Adverts were placed on the Council’s social media platforms detailing the Council’s proposal and four veterans of World War II were identified.

Arrangements were being prepared to meet with the veterans to co-inside with the May 2020 anniversary.  However due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place, events to recognise the four surviving veterans were postponed. Sadly, two of the veterans passed away recently and it was agreed to present the award posthumously to their families.

The silver poppy.
The silver poppy.

In recent weeks, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin arranged for a commemorative Silver Poppy designed by Diane Lyness to be delivered to Mr John Gough, Mr Martin Charters and to the families of Mr Paul McEvoy and Mr Robert Calvert. 

Following Remembrance Sunday and as we approach Remembrance Day on the 11 November, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “I was delighted Council recognised the service and sacrifice of the four gentlemen.  This recognition is a reminder of the role they, and many others from our district, played during World War II. I hope that in the not too distant future I will have the opportunity to meet John and Martin and the family members of Paul and Robert”.

Mr Gough joined the Irish Guards in 1943 and served as a Platoon Commander, Mr McEvoy worked for the Air Ministry and met US generals Patton and Eisenhower during his service, Mr Robert Calvert worked as a telegraphist during the war, sending and receiving Morse code communications and Mr Charters from Killyleagh, was an RAF air gunner, flying in the Halifax and Lancaster bombers.

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