Veteran’s medals donated to Colne’s British Legion Club

President of the Colne Royal British Legion Frank Riley BEM presents Irene Smiles with the medals of her husband Stanley which are to be displayed at the club.
President of the Colne Royal British Legion Frank Riley BEM presents Irene Smiles with the medals of her husband Stanley which are to be displayed at the club.

A former veteran’s memory will live on in Colne – after he donated four of his war medals to the British Legion Club in his will.

Stanley Alfred Thomas Smiles’ accolades, which includes the Italy Star, were presented to the Keighley Road club on Tuesday.

The former Colne postman’s friend and historian Geoff Crambie said: “Stanley lived in Laneshaw Bridge and used to come along to the club and sit in the back room reminiscing.

“He was a good union man and looked after everybody. He taught me a lot.”

Club secretary Tony Parkinson added: “It is a nice gesture and we are proud to take them. They will be well looked after,and displayed in a prominent place. They are not just medals that every serviceman gets, so it says something when he wanted to leave them to our club.”

Mr Smiles joined the Royal Artillery in 1939, serving in the UK, Algiers and Italy.

He fought at Monte Cassino with the 4th and 8th Indian Divisions, and was blinded for two weeks from the ash of Mount Vesuvious when it erupted.

He later joined the Military Police as a Lance Corporal and served in the Police Dog Section.

He left the army in September 1946.