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Tickhill: Special guests gather to honour merchant seaman Albert with World War II medals

Albert Burkill receives WWII medal. From left: Cynthia Smith, Lt. Col. Gordon Whitehead (US Army), David Moody, Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Rev John Sweed, Albert Burkill and his wife Margaret, Caroline Flint MP, Ray Hill, Mayor of Tickhill) Capt Malcolm F Mathison, vice-chairman Merchant Navy Association, Tim Brant, national secretary Merchant Navy Association. Pic by Tim Sweed

Albert Burkill receives WWII medal. From left: Cynthia Smith, Lt. Col. Gordon Whitehead (US Army), David Moody, Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Rev John Sweed, Albert Burkill and his wife Margaret, Caroline Flint MP, Ray Hill, Mayor of Tickhill) Capt Malcolm F Mathison, vice-chairman Merchant Navy Association, Tim Brant, national secretary Merchant Navy Association. Pic by Tim Sweed

Tickhill resident Albert Burkill, who recently celebrated his 94th birthday, was presented with the Atlantic Star for service in the Merchant Navy during World War II by Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire David Moody.

At the presentation, held at Tickhill Parish Room, Albert was also presented with a UK Merchant Seafarers Veteran’s Badge by Captain Malcolm F Mathison, vice-chairman of The Merchant Navy Association, and Tim Brant, national secretary of the Association.

Congratulations were also given by Caroline Flint MP, Ray Hill, Mayor of Tickhill, Rev John Sweed and Lt Col Gordon Whitehead of the US Army.

Albert was joined at the ceremony by his wife Margaret, family and friends.

Although in a reserved occupation Albert was eager to play his part during WWII and joined the Merchant Navy, serving for approximately three years as an engineer officer on board tankers.

Sailings included carrying aviation fuel from New York.

Such transatlantic crossings which were carrying valuable supplies from America and the colonies to Britain were fraught with danger as German U-Boats attacked the convoys.

High points of his time in New York included seeing Frank Sinatra and the Ink Spots at the Stork Club and boxer Bruce Woodcock at Madison Square Garden.

After the war he worked for many years with British Rail Engineering in Doncaster.

Amongst other things, he was a champion speed skater and the captain of Town Moor Golf Club.

 

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