A 95-year-old WWII veteran has said he is “over the moon” after he was presented with replacements of the medals he had lost.
Dennis Stevens, who is originally from Abertridwr but lives in Caerphilly, received his medals at a surprise presentation at the Station Inn pub on Thursday, November 7.
David Lancaster, of the Caerphilly branch of the Royal Welsh Veterans Association, arranged for Mr Stevens, who fought in Normandy, to receive replacement medals.
Mr Stevens said: “This is brilliant. I thought I had lost them forever.”
He said he lost the medals “several years ago”.
Mr Stevens served between 1943 and 1948, spending time in Germany with the territorial army after the end of WWII in 1945.
He said: “It’s still there, you still remember it. I miss the army, it was a good life.
“The lad I joined up with was killed on D-Day. His name was John Hopkins, he was with the paratroopers and was from Caerphilly.
“I lost quite a few friends.”
He added: “I did various jobs after the war and finished off at the civil service.”
Mr Lancaster said: “When Dennis told me the story about his medals, I put the wings in motion to get him replacement medals.
“At the end of the day, he deserves it. He didn’t know this was going to happen, so it’s good to see him happy and smiling.
Mr Stevens has recently joined the Caerphilly branch and is “looking forward” to regular meet ups with fellow ex-servicemen.
He also said he was “glad” he went to the surprise event, and said being around ex-servicemen was “like being back in the army”.
Mr Lancaster said: “Dennis is a member now so we’ll pick him up and take him to meetings. “
Mr Stevens’ great-nephew, Lee Nash, was at the Station Inn to see his great-uncle receive his medals.
Mr Nash said: “He’s told me a lot of war stories.
“I was quite shocked when David [Lancaster] told me about the medals – it was a nice thought.
“When Dennis landed in Normandy, he was at Gold Beach and saw a lot of people get shot.”
Ex-serviceman Sir John Lawrence, who is a member of the Caerphilly branch and was at the event, said: “It was brilliant. This guy should be shown respect – He’s served this country.”