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Heroic Romford airman’s medals on show

PUBLISHED: 18:00 05 June 2013

Exhibition of awards and life of Joseph Holt - a Romford soldier in the Second World War at the Havering Museum, High Street, Romford.

Exhibition of awards and life of Joseph Holt - a Romford soldier in the Second World War at the Havering Museum, High Street, Romford.

Archant

War medals, memoirs and pictures of a Romford war hero will be on show at Havering Museum.

Joseph Holt served in the Second World War with the RAF and Canadian air force before emigrating to the country.

After his death in November, his daughter Gloria Shirley sent the items to his sister Vera Holliday in Upminster for them to be exhibited.

Joe joined the RAF at 17 and trained as a wireless operator.

From 1942 to 1945 he was attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force as a pilot officer and flew numerous operations in Halifax bombers.

In November 1944, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the upmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty. He attained the rank of flight lieutenant.

After the war, Joe joined the police force before settling in Canada.

Gloria said it was his wish that his medals could be returned to his roots in Romford to preserve his achievements and honour his memory.

The collection includes three other wartime medals, ribbons, his flying log book and memoirs of the war.

His sister Vera, 81, of Avon Road, Upminster, said: “It is nice to see his medals on display for local people. We are pleased as it is what he wanted, having lived in Romford.”

Also on show at the museum are campaign medals awarded to William Ray, a Romford man who fought in the Crimean War against Russia.

He survived the war but died in 1912 aged 81.

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