British Empire Medal awarded to RAA veteran

Ray Cole (right) has been awarded with a British Empire Medal posthumously
Ray Cole (right) has been awarded with a British Empire Medal posthumously

A man born in Biggleswade has been awarded the British Empire Medal posthumously in this year’s New Year’s Honours.

Ray Cole who was the President, Welfare Officer and Standard Bearer of the Biggleswade Branch of the Royal Artillery Association (RAA) until his death on December 19 last year, was recognised for his achievements.

His name will also be added to the ‘Roll of Honour’ which is displayed in the offices of the Biggleswade Town Council.

Ray was born and went to school in Biggleswade but recently lived in Letchworth for over 40 years before his death.

He first carried a standard during his national service but left the Army after harrowing actions in Cyprus in the 1950s.

Ray devoted a lot of time after leaving the Army helping those in the armed forces .

He even received a gold medal in 2011 alongside good friend Ken Page as seen in the picture above. He also received a Cerificate of Merit in 2008 from the RAA.

During his time in the Army Ray served in a number of different locations including Borneo, Malaysia and Egypt before moving on to fundraising and and volunteering for the RAA.

Back in 2011 Ray spoke about his time in the Royal Artillery and the RAA.

He said: “Having spent so many years serving in the Royal Artillery, it was a natural thing for me to want to become a member of the RAA and devote myself to fundraising for the organisation.

“Much like the Royal British Legion an important part of the RAA’s work is the support it gives to servicemen and ex-servicemen and their families.”