Law firm steps in to make sure war hero wears his medals with pride this Remembrance Sunday.
A war hero will be proudly wearing his missing medals this Remembrance Sunday, after a Lincoln law firm turned down his request to get them via legal channels – but instead paid for him to receive them.
Telling 93-year-old Kenneth Forrest that it would be a costly and unsuitable legal exercise to get the medals for him, the team at Wilkin Chapman solicitors decided to fund the cost of their receipt.
The story began when Kenneth, a former Royal Marine from Nottinghamshire, was asked to lay a wreath at his local service in Arnold on Sunday as a member of The Royal British Legion. He wanted to wear his medals but did not have them.
He explained how he had applied for them in the 1960s but on doing so was informed that they had been dispatched a decade earlier to an address where he and his wife used to live. While Kenneth was adamant that he had never applied for his decorations, there appeared to have been a mix-up.
After receiving the wreath-laying invite, Kenneth was determined to have another go at getting them but was told he would have to pay for new ones as it was a ‘second set’, unless he could provide proof to claim on insurance.
Upset, Kenneth contacted the Wilkin Chapman team in Lincoln asking if he could retrieve the medals via the small claims court.
Partner, and military sector lead James Marsden, takes up the story: “Noelle Ranby-Holmes, our legal secretary in Regulatory and Crime in Lincoln, explained the situation and how Kenneth felt very upset. She had explained to him that the legal route was not the right one to go down.
“With his wife in full time care, this would have also proved costly and that was explained too. Noelle asked if Wilkin Chapman would consider a gesture to help Kenneth and we felt, on this occasion we wanted to help in this way,” added James, whose firm has just been awarded an Armed Forces Covenant Silver Award in recognition of its commitment to serving the country’s military personnel and veterans.
Kenneth was overwhelmed when James paid him a visit on Thursday to see him proudly wearing his medals, which include the prestigious Burma Star.
“It blew my hat off when they said they were going to pay for my medals, I was simply taken aback. I shall be wearing them with pride on Sunday and what a wonderful thing to do,” said Kenneth.