We are delighted to hear that Len Gibson has been awarded A British Empire medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list this weekend for ‘Services to World War Two Remembrance and the community in Sunderland.”
In 2015 Mercedes Kemp met Len as part of research in Sunderland for our project A Great Night Out. Len’s story formed a large component of the final project presented in May 2016 and a friendship between Len and Mercedes has continued ever since. Mercedes was one of the people who joined forces with many others in Sunderland to recommend Len for this award.
(Image:A Great Night Out- WildWorks/ Dan Prince
Background image from Len’s personal collection. Len is back row, fourth from the left)
Len’s story of his time as a prisoner of war working on the Burma railway was performed on the night by a company made up from Sunderland based volunteers although it was Len himself that became the star of the evening with an emotional closing of the show with his acoustic rendition of ‘On The Street Where You Live’; a song he often sang to his wife, who was his nurse tending to his ill health his return from war and who had not long passed away in early 2016. Len, who turned 99 this year is now looking forward to celebrating his 100th birthday and a trip to the Palace to receive his award in 2020.