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Silver Poppy Award to Wren Veteran

Twenty surviving veterans have been presented with special silver poppies to mark their service in World War Two.
They were presented with the poppies, which were made by County Down artist Sarah McAleer, in a ceremony in Bangor Castle on Friday.
All of the veterans range in age from 93 to 103 and live in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area.

They had served in forces including the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force (RAF) and Women’s Royal Naval Service.They were presented to the veterans by the Ards and North Down Mayor Bill Keery and children from Bangor Central Integrated Primary School.

Maureen Lightbody joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service straight from school at the age of 18 in 1943.
As her mother was a young widow, she was stationed in Bangor where she had to signal code to ships entering and leaving Belfast Lough.
She would signal to ships in morse code using an Aldis lamp.

Among her most enduring memories of the war was the US Navy’s arrival in Bangor ahead of D-Day.
“All the big battleships from America were in Bangor,” she said.
“On D-Day 40 ships left Belfast Lough overnight – it was unbelievable, it was some sight.
“I feel quite guilty because my role wasn’t war but it was part of the war and it was important.”