Group give VE Day medal to Coaster vet

From left to right. Standing are Douglas Hern (Vice Chair) Ken Wilkinson, & Roy Glencross (Chairman) sitting are Kate Glencross, Faye Wilkinson, Alexandra Hern (Secretary) and May McCandless.
From left to right. Standing are Douglas Hern (Vice Chair) Ken Wilkinson, & Roy Glencross (Chairman) sitting are Kate Glencross, Faye Wilkinson, Alexandra Hern (Secretary) and May McCandless.

A Boston man has had his achievements during the war honoured by his Merchant Navy Association after they handed him a gold-plated VE Medallion recently.

Ken Wilkinson was given The Westminster Collection medallion, commemorating the 70th anniversary of VE Day from the members of the Boston & South Lincs Branch of the Merchant Navy Association.

Association chairman Roy Glencross said: “We had another man from Spalding and Ken who had worked on the Coasters and we wanted to honour them, so we chose to present them with the gold coins.”

The coins were issued free to local associations with only the postage and packaging to pay - with a small donation from each coin going to the Royal British Legion.

Mr Glencross said: “We thought it was a nice gesture for us to thank them for their efforts during the war.”

Ken is a local boy born in Boston and he has lived there all his life.

Born in 1924, Ken left school at 14 and went straight to working on the Boston Pilot Cutter, the day before his 15th birthday. The first ship he ever saw sunk was the Mangolaw - a Cargo Liner

He joined the Merchant Navy and served on Coasters during World War II.

He came ashore in 1949 and went into building and civil engineering until his retirement.

Ken married the love of his life Faye on March 31, 1951 and they had two children.

He has been a member of the Boston and South Lincolnshire Merchant Navy Association for nearly 15 years.

The Association meets with members on the second Saturday of every month.

Originally meeting at the Black Bull, in Donington, they also head on days out both locally, such as garden centres, and to the Tower of London on an annual basis.