Former Hucknall man honoured with a medal

A FORMER Hucknall man whose mother still lives in the town has been awarded a medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Albert Elson, known as Bert, was born and brought up in the town attending National School and working locally.

But the 61 year-old moved to Thailand some years ago where he now owns and runs a guest house with his wife Pu.

Bert joined the Army after leaving school and served for 12 years. After his move overseas he wanted to get in touch with other old soldiers and in 2007 formed a branch of the British Legion in Thailand.

It was because of his ‘Services to the British Community in Thailand’ that he was awarded the British Empire Medal.

“The award is a fantastic recognition to our new branch and I thank all those involved in our Welfare and Fundraising work,” said Bert who hails from West Street.

“When I first formed the group I expected a few old soldiers would call in for a drink now and again - how wrong we were as we soon went from 15 members to 300,” explained the son of a miner and father of one. “We also found that there were many veterans retired in Thailand who were in need of help or advice.

“I attended a Welfare Caseworkers and Training Course in the UK and our Welfare Team was born.

“Our Welfare Team have covered the length and breadth of Thailand visiting those in need. We have also, on many occasions, visited British Nationals who have found themselves in distress whilst on holiday and signposted them in the right direction to get assistance.”

Bert has led an interesting life working at Butlins Holiday Camp and Intermotor in Hucknall after his time in the Army, before taking to the seas as a fisherman for 20 years in Oban, off the coast of Scotland.