Mayor of Maghull presents long overdue World War II medals to Ma

Mayor of Maghull and Consort, Labour’s Cllrs Sandra Williams and Rita Knight with Michael Penn and wife Vivienne with 94-year-old Dorothy Penn.

A Maghull grandmother was officially honoured for her contribution to World War II by the Mayor of Maghull this week.


Maghull Mayor, Labour's Cllr Sandra Williams and consort Cllr Rita Knight presented Dorothy Penn with two Second World War medals which she should have received 67 years ago.


Dorothy, 94, served at RAF Bridge North and RAF Sealand from 1941-45.


It was while at Sealand that she met husband Ron. They were married in 1944, but after just nine days, Ron was shipped off to Burma where he served for another two-and-a-half years.


Shortly after he left Burma, Dorothy realised she was pregnant and she left the service soon after. Dorothy and Ron's first child Michael was born in July 1945.


Because she left the service before the end of the war, Dorothy never received the medals she was entitled to.


When Ron returned, Dorothy worked in the telephone room at Littlewoods and later at Parkfield Motor Auction. They also had a daughter and have two grandchildren.


She settled with Ron in Maghull after moving from Liverpool to live closer to son Michael. Ron sadly died in 1990.


It was neighbour Stan Thomason who applied to get Dorothy the medals - the 1939-45 War Medal and the Defence Medal.


Dorothy said it was a shock to be presented with the medals after so many years.


She said: "It was a total surprise not just to receive the medals after all these years, but to also be presented with them by the Mayor of Maghull. I am delighted.


"I served as a typist in RAF Bridge North and RAF Sealand. That's where I met Ron and we married shortly after. He was shipped out to Burma just nine days after we got married so he didn't get to meet our son Michael until he came back two-and-a-half years later.


"But because I left to have Michael before the end of the war, I just never received my medals - until now.


"I am absolutely delighted to get them now and I'd like to thank Stan for going to the effort of applying for them on my behalf and I'd like to thank Mayor of Maghull Cllr Sandra Williams and Cllr Rita Knight for coming out to present them to me.


"Lots of people played their part in the war. I was just a WAFA typist. I was nothing special."


But son Michael disagrees.


Michael said: "I think it is great what mum did. Despite her modesty, mum and other women like her played an active role in the war and their efforts deserve to be recognised. It was a remarkable achievement.


"I'd like to thank Cllr Williams and Cllr Knight for coming along and formally presenting the medals to mum."


Mayor, Cllr Williams, said Dorothy was an amazing woman whose wartime efforts deserved recognition.


Cllr Williams said: "Very often the efforts of the women in the Second World War are forgotten. It's important that we remember what they did during the campaign and the sacrifices they made.


"It must have been very difficult for a young woman, as Dorothy was back then, to find out that her husband was being shipped off far away from home so shortly after getting married, but then to have a child while your husband is at war so far away - it must have been very difficult.


"So while Dorothy is typically very modest about her efforts it is vital that we remember what she went through and the debt we all owe her. We owe our lives to people like Dorothy.


"It was an honour for me to be able to present her with the medals she rightly deserves."

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