South East Wales

Porthcawl's Yvonne Cornelius, 90, receives WWII medals

Yvonne Cornelius
Image caption Yvonne Cornelius receives her medals after 70 years

A 90-year-old woman who served during World War II has received her medals after waiting 70 years.

Yvonne Cornelius, of Porthcawl, served as corporal in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force.

At the 70th anniversary dinner of No3 Welsh Wing of the Air Cadets, held at Swansea's Liberty Stadium, she was finally presented with her medals.

Group Captain Dick Allen thanked Mrs Cornelius and all of the heroes of the Battle of Britain.

Mrs Cornelius's role as the corporal-in-charge was crucial in directing and plotting the progress of the battles in the air above Dover, London and Kent.

Skill and dedication

Without the skill and dedication of Mrs Cornelius and others, the brave Spitfire and Hurricane pilots might not have been successful.

Presenting Mrs Cornelius with her medals, Group Captain Allen said: "Corporal Sayer served 70 years ago in 12 Group of Fighter Command in the operations bunker at Stanmore throughout the course of the Battle of Britain."

He told the audience that Mrs Cornelius remembered there were many regular VIP visitors to the bunker during the Battle of Britain, including the prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.

"Yvonne said that she had the habit to stand to attention and press herself into the wall of the bunker in order to give them room to pass," he added.

After the presentation, Mrs Cornelius was given a standing ovation from her fellow diners.

Retired Flt Lt Stuart Morgan said Mrs Cornelius had decided not to apply for her medals until recently.

"She never felt she deserved them," he said.

"But her neighbour Andrew Maund, who was awarded his medals on the same day, managed to persuade her to apply for hers."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites