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Memories of lost brother
THE brother of a Pickering soldier who was killed in Korea has been presented with the Elizabeth Cross by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Lord Crathorne.
Private Edwin Lawrence Wilson, 19, from the Royal Pioneer Corps died on the October 31, 1953, when the truck in which he was travelling to a supply depot left the road on a hill crest and plunged into a ravine. Two others were also killed in the accident.
Edwin, who was affectionately known as “Dudda” to his family – from the aeroplane sounds he made as a child – enlisted into the British Army on June, 9 1952. He joined the Guard Company in Pusan, Korea, the following year to maintain stability in the region after the Korean War.
Lord Crathorne presented the medal to the soldier’s younger brother, Rodney, at a private ceremony held at Crathorne House, Yarm.
Rodney collected the medal and Memorial Scroll accompanied by his wife, Ann, daughter Louise and son Edwin, who was named after his late uncle.
Rodney said: “Today is a very special day. I feel very proud to receive the Cross in Edwin’s memory. It brings it all back. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of him.
“He was the oldest one and one of my last memories of him was when he grabbed me jokingly by my hair before he left for Korea and told me I had to look after the family when he was gone.
“I was nine at the time, and really looked up to him. I never thought I wouldn’t see him again.”
Edwin’s grave is in the United Nations Military Cemetery, Tanggok, near Pusan. Rodney and Ann were recently invited by the Korean Veterans’ Association to visit the cemetery and the local area.
Rodney said: “It was an experience I will never forget. The respect and kindness they showed us was marvellous. They made us feel so welcome and regularly place flowers on Edwin’s grave.”
The Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll were introduced in 2009 to give recognition to bereaved families of soldiers killed on operations, or as a result of terrorist actions since January 1, 1948, including the Korean War, the Falklands conflict and operations in Northern Ireland. Each individual cross carries the name of the soldier, sailor or aircraftsman who died serving his or her country.
Lord Crathorne said: “It was a great privilege to present the Wilsons with the emblem and scroll on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.
“We owe so much to those who have died to protect our country. The Elizabeth Cross was instituted specifically to recognise the unique challenges service personnel face in wars past and present, and the suffering and heartache it places on the ones left behind.
“It should be worn with great pride.”