Derbyshire medal campaigner appeals for MPs’ support

Brian Sheppard, ex-police officer and military member, is campaigning for the National Defence Medal.
Brian Sheppard, ex-police officer and military member, is campaigning for the National Defence Medal.

Campaigners are appealing to MPs to back a campaign for all veterans who have served in the Armed Forces since 1945 to be awarded the National Defence Medal.

Retired Derbyshire police officer and former British military member Brian Sheppard has raised awareness about the NDM campaign and is backing a letter appealing to all MPs for support including NE Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins, Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner and Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin.

The National Defence Medal.

The National Defence Medal.

Mr Sheppard, who was a detective in Chesterfield, said: “I have written to the Prime Minister but received the standard reply that the letter has been passed to the Ministry of Defence. I have written to the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry who have all come back saying they can’t get involved. I wrote again to the Queen stating I did not believe she was aware of the depth of feeling of her veterans.”

The latest correspondence, supported by the British Veterans NDM Campaign, is being sent to MPs and is calling for the NDM to be awarded to all who have served in the UK forces since the end of World War Two.

Campaigners complain in the letter that there has been no consultation despite an early day motion by Conservative Sir William Cash in December calling on the Government to rescind its decision not to recognise veterans with the NDM. This motion was supported by 72 MPs.

According to the British Veterans NDM Campaign, the Government has not awarded the NDM as it could cost too much, but the Queen has authorised the issuing of the medal to Canada, Australia and Commonwealth countries.

Mr Sheppard added: “As our numbers decline due to the passage of time, we that remain are more determined than ever not to let this matter gather dust by lying in the vaults of Parliament. Indeed, such an important matter as this medal needs to be kept at the front of people’s minds which is why we will continue our fight to get the medal issued.”

Campaigners are organising a march on Buckingham Palace by veterans who will be asking why the Queen appears to have snubbed veterans on the issue and why Prime Minister David Cameron has not responded directly. Mr Sheppard wants people to join the NDM campaign and write to their MPs. A Facebook campaign has been set up including reports and the bill that went to Parliament.