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War Veteran Wears His Medals Again
Wednesday 21st October 2015 @ 10:13 by Tom Greggan
Ashton News

Dunkirk veteran Frank Ellis was keen to wear his campaign medals again, but they needed properly mounting.

So the Ashton Branch of the Royal British Legion stepped in to help. Chair David Brown said: “We feel really honoured to help him sort out his medals once again.”

Seventy-five years ago Frank stood with his pals for three days and nights without food in the sea off Dunkirk, waiting to be rescued.

This is the anniversary year of the “miracle of Dunkirk” and Frank was one of the third of a million men who returned from France and Belgium after the German invasion.

Originally from Scotland and now residing in Ashton, Frank joined the Royal Engineers with the Territorial Army in 1937 as a Sapper and served for ten years.

Frank went on to serve in 15 countries including North Africa with the Eighth Army, Iraq, Iran, India and around the Middle East.

Frank Travis Medals

He left the army to become a cargo checker at Salford docks, from where he retired. Frank, now 94, met and married Enid his wife, 84, only four years ago.

Enid says he is very proud to have served and he remembers when he and his mates Hughie and Georgie climbed the pyramids together. Enid said: “They were known as the ‘Three Musketeers’ and went everywhere together.”

Of his rescue from the nightmare of the Dunkirk evacuation she adds: “The mug of tea and bacon sandwich he got on board the destroyer was the “best meal he had ever had”.

Cllr Frank Travis re-presented the medals with a gift of a picture of the ship which rescued him all those years ago.

He said: “Sappers like Frank were often in great danger, working alongside the rearguard to hold up the German advance.

“Without men like these, the story of Dunkirk could well have been very different. It’s a great personal pleasure to be able to help Frank and Enid.”