James Petticrew from Northern Ireland

James Petticrew, 1960s‘In April 1969 the ambulance I was driving was attacked by a rioting mob. I was struck in the head by a brick. Although I was injured, I drove the ambulance to safety but I nearly lost sight in one of my eyes.

‘By August, things got serious – shootings started and we ran refugee centres for people burned out of their homes.

‘In 1971, I was awarded the British Empire Medal at Hillsborough Castle for my service during those difficult years and a citation from the Queen made reference to an incident where I crawled on my hands and knees under gunfire to rescue a colleague trapped in the back of an ambulance.

‘As I look back today, I am immensely proud of our tradition and heritage.’

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