A special tribute to a veteran who had an extraordinary career has been held in Naphill - 107 years after he volunteered to join his brothers in the Royal Artillery aged just 16.

Frank Ridgley served King and Country and was recognised in a commemoration service at the Black Lion in Naphill on September 9.

Frank’s son, Frank Junior, now aged 93, was presented with seven medals on the day by Brigadier Charlie Hewett, Commander of the Royal Artillery Brigade.

Frank Jr was the recipient of one of the seven medals for his service in Palestine in 1947-48, and was accompanied to the presentation by family, friends and 14 members of the Royal Artillery Association High Wycombe Branch who put on a grand display. The service was the work of Major Glenn Ridgley, Frank’s nephew.

Frank Sr volunteered to join his brothers in the Royal Artillery, both of whom were on active service during the First World War, when he was just 16.

Sadly, one of Frank Sr’s brothers, Charlie, did not return and is commemorated in Bryants Bottom, where the family lived.

In 1940 Frank Sr, then aged 42, again volunteered his service in the Second World War, this time in the Royal regiment of engineers.

He served with a British expeditionary force in France returning via Dunkirk. During the battle of Britain, Frank Sr, with his company of engineers, helped to keep airfields of fighter command operational.

After the battle of Britain, Frank Sr, with his company, moved to Bletchley Park where they built the huts used by Dilly Knox and Alan Turing to break the enigma code, helping to shorten the Second World War and save many lives.

Frank then took a short embarkation leave with his family, who were then living in Brimmers Hill, Widmer End.

He was en route to North Africa where he joined field marshal Montgomery’s eighth army, and took part in the battle of El Alamein clearing minefields, allowing British troops and transport force to pursue the enemy.

Frank continued to serve in further theatres of conflict in Europe for which a string of medals were issued.

It was these medals that were presented to Frank Jr, who now lives in Walters Ash, at the special ceremony for his father.

Frank Jr praised the “first class service” from the Black Lion staff, adding that a “good time was had by all”. He said: “Just another chapter in the Ridgley family history, a family who has lived in this area for centuries.”