Valuable war memorabilia found

PUBLISHED: 13:27 27 March 2009 | UPDATED: 21:44 31 May 2010

Pictured from left, Geoff and Jennie Wakelin presenting the plates to Derek Eden (former Wellington Air Gunner), Brian Morgan (former pilot on Meteor jets and Hastings) and Denis Baxter (former pilot

Pictured from left, Geoff and Jennie Wakelin presenting the plates to Derek Eden (former Wellington Air Gunner), Brian Morgan (former pilot on Meteor jets and Hastings) and Denis Baxter (former pilot

FORGOTTEN memorabilia which belonged to a Royal Air Force (RAF) navigator who served in the Second World War was discovered in a Saffron Walden home. The find of two limited edition plates, commemorating important dates in the history of the RAF, were pre

FORGOTTEN memorabilia which belonged to a Royal Air Force (RAF) navigator who served in the Second World War was discovered in a Saffron Walden home.

The find of two limited edition plates, commemorating important dates in the history of the RAF, were presented to the Aircrew Association at a meeting in the Saffron Hotel last week.

Association secretary, John Gerrard, said: "We were very pleased to receive the plates. Our members all served in the RAF, Royal Navy, Army Air Corp or US Air Force so items like this are always appreciated."

One of the plates commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the RAF in 1968 and the second commemorates Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee Review of the Royal Air Force at RAF Finningley in 1977.

The items belonged to the late Squadron Leader Donald Elmer Wakelin who was awarded an MBE for his services to the RAF. After the war Squadron Leader Wakelin remained in the auxiliary RAF. He died in 1993.

Son Geoff Wakelin said: "He became a navigator for the RAF rather than a pilot because of his eyesight and during the war he served in the Far East.

"We wanted to present the plates to the Aircrew Association in memory of my father. There is no point in us keeping them in a box at home if they can be of benefit to someone else."

The limited-edition commemorative plates come complete with certificates and Mr Gerrard believes they could be quite valuable. "There were only 5000 of the plates made and they cost about £100 when the first came out," he said.

"It's possible we will sell them to raise funds for the association but we haven't decided yet."

The plates were found by Geoff's wife Jennie among the possessions of her late father-in-law. She said: "He kept a lot of memorabilia and we have kept many of the items that were personal to him or had his name on.

"We gave the plates to the Aircrew Association because many of their members are ex-RAF and it's what Geoff's father would have wanted.

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