Sunderland-born Second World War veteran, 101, made MBE by the Queen

A Wearside war veteran now in his 102nd year has been made an MBE by the Queen.

Friday, 1st June 2018, 5:13 pm
Updated Friday, 1st June 2018, 5:17 pm
Lieutenant Colonel Mordaunt Cohen, 101, is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for services to Second World War education during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London. Pic by PA.

Sunderland-born Lieutenant Colonel Mordaunt Cohen, 101, was awarded the honour for services to Second World War education at Buckingham Palace.

Lt Col Cohen is the most senior Jewish officer who served in the war still alive, and plays an active and pivotal part in educating people.

Lieutenant Colonel Mordaunt Cohen, 101, holds his MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) after it was awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth II for services to Second World War education during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London. Pic by PA.

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Following the ceremony he said: “I am honoured and delighted that Her Majesty has been able to confer this personally on me.”

The former officer spends a large amount of his time touring schools, places of worship and other forums where he can speak of his experience.

Lt Col Cohen has been extensively involved with the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, being National Chairman and later Vice President.

In addition to this, he was Honorary Life President of the Sunderland Jewish community and was a Deputy Lieutenant in Tyne and Wear from 1986 to 1990.

He qualified as a solicitor aged 21, and set up his own practice shortly before war broke out.

Lt Col Cohen joined the Army after hearing stories of Nazi persecution from Jewish children who arrived in Sunderland from the Kindertransport.

He served in Burma, where he commanded Nigerian volunteers as part of an anti-aircraft unit defending RAF air strips and, during his service, survived being struck down with both malaria and hepatitis.

In 2016 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Sunderland University in recognition of the his military career and his long standing association with the city.

TV presenter Eamonn Holmes was also honoured as he picked up an OBE for services to broadcasting.

He joked was “just trying to get the big names” when he told the Queen he had spoken to almost every member of her family but her.