Sir George Young was invited to No 10 Downing St to watch two of his constituents receive their "Bevin Boy" medals from the Prime Minister.
Bill Hatcher from Andover and Morris Pearce from Baughurst were called up at the beginning of the Second World War and sent down the mines in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. This was because the country was running out of fuel - as so many miners were already fighting.
MP's from all parties have been campaigning for a medal to recognise their work and in January the Prime Minister announced that a medal would be struck.
“It was a pleasure to meet Morris and Sylvia Pearce at No 10, and then watch him receive his medal from the Prime Minister.
In his speech, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the Bevin Boys, who were called up from other duties at the beginning of the Second World War, and sent down the mines to produce the coal the country needed to survive. Maurice told me how he volunteered for the Royal Marines and was awaiting his call-up papers, when he was sent north to Doncaster to the mines. After one month’s intensive training, he found himself at the coalface.”
"At a party to celebrate the end of the war, he met Sylvia and they have been happily married for over 60 years.”
“It was a moving ceremony, with Brian Rix and Jimmy Saville amongst those receiving medals. The Prime Minister also paid tribute to the MP’s who had been campaigning for the medal.”
Morris is a Hampshire man, having lived in Basingstoke, Sherborne St John, Baughurst and Tadley.
After the ceremony, Sir George met Bill Hatcher from Andover who was also one of those chosen to receive the medal. Bill was accompanied by his wife.