MP presents medal to a proud family

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A Nuthall widow has been presented with a prestigious medal on behalf of her late husband who protected Britain in its darkest hour during World War Two.

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry presented Edna Mitchell MBE with the Bomber Command Clasp – a new medal to recognise those who contributed to the bombing campaign.

Edna, 91, is the widow of Acting Flight Lieutenant Gerald Mitchell, who was a pathfinder in the Royal Air Force’s 106 Squadron.

He successfully flew 25 missions, when many died.

Gerald and Edna’s son-in-law Bryan Samuels MBE, 76, campaigned long and hard for Bomber Command members to be recognised with their own medal, and was present along with other family members when Ms Soubry presented the medal.

Mrs Mitchell, of Acer Court Nursing Home, was delighted. She said: “I’m very, very proud.”

The couple’s eldest daughter, Pat Samuels, who also lives in Nuthall, said: “My father said his time during the wars were the best years of his life.

“We’re very proud. He always talked about his experiences. He was always very keen to share.”

Priority is being given to veterans and widows as the new medals are allocated.

Ms Soubry said: “It was a great honour to be asked to present Edna with this medal recognising the great service of her late husband.

“Gerald flew 25 successful missions during the Second World War and his son-in-law has campaigned long and hard for this.”

Lieutenant Mitchell joined the RAF at 17 and was trained in Canada.

His final mission involved bombing of Norwegian oil fields.

When he was discharged in 1946, the RAF asked him to continue flying but he chose to stay at home with his family.

He married Edna in 1945 and their first of three children was born in 1946.