Spalding hero’s WW2 award

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A newspaper report about the bravery of an 18-year-old Spalding Second World War hero so impressed one resident of the town she kept a copy of the clipping when it was repeated in these papers some years later.

It concerns Gunner Leslie Neal, of Pennygate, who was awarded the Military Medal in 1941.

Leslie was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs W Neal, who knew very little about why their son had been honoured. He was one of a group of Lewis gunners guarding a torpedoed ship which had been beached, and had to beat off eight attacks by dive-bombers flying as low as 200 feet. One Junkers 88 was shot down.

A report into the incident read: “For this feat three Royal Artillery men win the Military Medal. One of them, Gunner Leslie Neal, was knocked down three times but each time returned to his gun.”

Mrs Ione Pola kept the clipping but now feels she would like to pass it on to one of Gunner Neal’s descendants. She wonders if anyone from his family is still alive and would like the clipping. Mrs Pola can be contacted on 01775 724693.