Rosie Cooper MP is supporting a campaign led by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) to come forward and claim a unique veterans badge as well as a tribute to their sacrifices during 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.
Rosie said: “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 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.
The first badges will be issued in March next year, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the demobbing of the last Bevin Boy.
Rosie added: “It is with honour and gratitude that we recognise their tremendous work with the award of this special badge. All Bevin Boy’s be they ballottees, optants or volunteers, are eligible to apply”.
If you think you may be eligible, I urge you to complete an application form available by calling the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency helpline on 0800 169 2277 or 01253 866043, or by visiting www.veteransagency.co.uk.