DTC Travel have pleasure in acknowledging the hard work of Gale Bailey, which has resulted in a richly earned British honour
Charity work earns MBE for Leicester’s Gale Bailey
By Leicester Mercury | Posted: January 02, 2014
Leicester woman Gale Bailey has picked up an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
The 67-year-old, who lives in Thailand, but has a home in Broughton Astley, was given the award for her services to the British community and her charitable work.
The pensioner, who regularly visits British citizens in prison abroad, also works for several charitable causes.
Speaking from Thailand yesterday, she said: “I’m completely overwhelmed and emotional.
“I found out in November when the British ambassador for Thailand told me, but I was sworn to secrecy.
“I don’t do what I do for any reward. I just am who I am.
“I’m extremely proud to come from Leicester and to receive this.”
Her cousin, Anne Bailey, from Castle Donington, said: “I’m so proud of Gale. She does so many nice things for others, so it’s wonderful to see her receive this award.”
DTC Travel is looking forward to working with Gale on Remembrance Tours with the British Women’s Group, Bangkok.
Here is a personal report from her
NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM – ALREWAS, STAFFORDSHIRE
When ‘my old mate’ Janet Doughty came to work alongside me on the Enquiry Counter at the East Midlands Electricity Board almost 40 years ago, we hit it off straightaway and became good friends. We quickly discovered we had something in common – our fathers had been prisoners of war, mine in Germany (Stalag 18) and Janet’s in Japanese hands with some time spent on the Thai Burma Railway.
Last year when four stalwart chaps from the British Legion did their LONG MARCH (Three Pagodas to Hell Fire Pass), en route they placed photos of our respective fathers and held a short memorial service for them and their comrades which was wonderful. When I was back home in the summer, Janet asked if I would like to go with her to the FEPOW (Far East Prisoners Of War) memorial which was being held at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas on the Sunday nearest to VJ Day (Victory in Japan) which is 14 August (1945).
We drove up the A5 to Staffordshire and easily found the arboretum which overwhelmed us both by the serenity and beauty of the place. We arrived well in time for a cuppa in the restaurant which was serving roast dinners as well as sandwiches and snacks – excellent! The FEPOW service was held at a special Far East section of the arboretum and we cheated a bit by hopping on to one of the ‘Noddy’ trains which glide along taking the elderly (we did not think we qualified but had a lift just the same!) to designated places. It was a short but poignant memorial service which always brings a lump to my throat when I think of the sacrifices made by so many that enables us to enjoy our freedom today. After the service, we made our way back to a marquee which was specially set up for FEPOW for a full service of remembrance. I loved all the hymns, one of which was my favourite – Dear Lord and Father of Mankind – lovely words and tune. Obviously not so many ex POW’s are left nowadays but there are still families who have special memories of loved ones lost and those who survived. We spoke with a 93 year old POW, Tom McKie who was so alert and sprightly and absolutely amazing to talk to. He read out the following FEPOW prayer.
And we that are left grow old with the years Remembering the heartache, the pain and tears Hoping and praying that never again Man will sink to such sorrow and shame The price that was paid we will always remember Every day, every month, not just in November
After another cuppa we explored more of the grounds which are quite fantastic, spread over a wide area with many separate sections dedicated to different regiments as well as those who played an important role during war time e.g. Royal Mail, Fire Brigade etc. We went to the Far East section where a building houses photos and memorabilia – quite moving and thought provoking as we wondered how anyone could have survived in those conditions! We also climbed up to the monument at the top of a hill where names of those killed since World War 2 are inscribed (far too many!) The view over the surrounding countryside is quite spectacular and was well worth all those steps.
Tree and shrub planting is on-going and whilst it is fantastic now when they all mature, it will be absolutely wonderful. I would recommend a visit to anyone as the grounds are vast with plenty to see and do plus time to reflect on the past and the sacrifices made by so many.
Janet and I had real quality time with each other, catching up and just enjoying being together as you do with good mates but being somewhere so peaceful and tranquil added to our joy.
Congratulations once again Gale!
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