Stamford veteran (97) presented with war medal 80 years after serving in Second World War

Eve Hillier never received medal – and was surprised with a ceremony at the care home where she lives
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A Stamford veteran who never received her service medal for her work during the Second World War has finally received the award, in a surprise ceremony.

WAAF servicewoman, Eve Hillier, a 97 year old resident at Barchester’s Chater Lodge Care Home in Stamford, was presented with her war medal in a surprise ceremony on April 20.

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Eve never received her medal and so her family contacted the RAF to find out if it would be possible. They were delighted when Wing Commander Nicola J Duncan MA MCIPD, Station Commander from RAF Wittering kindly agreed to award Eve her medal. The surprise ceremony took place at Chater Lodge Care Home in Ketton, Stamford on April 20th.

Eve with her medal, and inset, during her serviceEve with her medal, and inset, during her service
Eve with her medal, and inset, during her service

Eve said: “It feels very special and unexpected to receive it after all these years. I didn’t apply for it at the time but I’m glad I’ve finally got it. I started out in admin and then became a waitress in the officers’ mess. They were the best years of my life because everyone was so friendly and it felt like one big family.”

She joined the WAAF in October 1944 and after completing her basic training near Manchester, she went to London and worked at Barbara Hutton's House near Regent’s Park.

In early 1945 she went to RAF North Weald, near Epping Forest in Kent, a front line fighter pilot airfield. There she looked after Group Captain Douglas Bader, a Fighter Pilot Ace, who took command of North Weald on his release from Colditz in April 1945.

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During her service at North Weald she was asked to take part in a recruitment film for the RAF.

The presentation of the medalThe presentation of the medal
The presentation of the medal

In the later part of 1945 she met Hubert (Blackie) Blackwell, an RAF Flight Sgt Spitfire Pilot.

She continued to work at North Weald until being discharged in 1947. She married Hubert in January 1948 and they spent the next 30 years travelling the world with the RAF and bringing up four children. They divorced in 1980 and Eve married Len Hillier who had been a navigator in Bomber Command.

Zoe Postgate, General Manager at Chater Lodge said: “We’re all so proud of Eve. She always downplays it but we all know that people like her all played their part in the war effort. It was so wonderful to surprise her and for the RAF to present her with her service medal after all these years. She has it in time for the anniversary of VE Day!”

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