On 25 March 2008 the Prime Minister awarded the first Bevin Boy Veteran Badge at a reception in 10 Downing Street.The Prime Minister said:
The service that the Bevin Boys gave to this country was incredibly important and not only helped us to win the war but also to rebuild our country after the war.
The Badge was announced on 20 June 2007 by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) in recognition of the contribution made by the Bevin Boys who worked in the UK coalfields during and immediately after World War Two.
The Bevin Boys scheme was introduced in 1943 by then Minister for Labour and National Service, Ernest Bevin, in response to an increasing shortage of labour in the coal mining industry. The scheme ran between 1943 and 1948 and involved recruiting men aged between 18 and 25 years to work in coal mines rather than serve in the armed forces. Some 48,000 men worked in the mines under the scheme.
The Badge is being given to all survivors who either through compulsion or volunteering worked in the mines rather than serving in the armed forces under the Bevin Boys scheme. The widows of men who died on or after 20 June 2007, the date of introduction, and fall into the above category are also eligible.
An application form can be downloaded (see below):
Any queries regarding eligibility can be addressed to:
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
0207 215 6145