World War Two Veterans from Boothstown (Worsley) who are planning to travel back to the Philippines under the "Heroes Return" programme met with Veterans Minister, Ivor Caplin, and Barbara at the Royal British Legion in Wilfred Road, Walkden on Wednesday April 13th.
The party of four planning to travel back to the Philippines are veteran John Hughes with his wife Elsie Hughes and veteran Frank Dickenson and his son Paul Dickenson. John Hughes and Frank Dickenson served in the Royal Navy and fought with a small British contingent (under US Command) at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. This battle has been described as "the largest naval engagement in history". The battle was a decisive victory for the Allies.
Barbara has been helping to promote the Heroes Return programme in Worsley Constituency since she discovered that only 13 veterans from Worsley had applied for travel grants under the Heroes Return scheme.
Barbara had posters printed and has passed on information through Royal British Legion's Walkden president, Ken Austin. When they heard about the scheme, John Hughes and Frank Dickenson decided to apply. They are keen to see if any other veterans who fought in Leyte Gulf also want to return, so that they could all travel back together.
The ‘Heroes Return’ scheme runs until the end of 2005, a time when many veterans will be commemorating the 60th anniversary of the momentous events which led to the end of World War Two
"The Heroes Return programme is a great way for veterans to see the countries in which they saw active service and pay respects to their fallen comrades. I hope John Hughes and Frank Dickenson can find some other veterans for their trip."
Veterans Minister, Ivor Caplin, and Barbara Keeley with John and Elsie Hughes and Frank Dickenson at the memorial stone outside the Royal British Legion at Walkden.