Veterans’ Minister Derek Twigg has presented the 500,000th Armed Forces Veterans’ Badge to a Birmingham woman during a flypast of a Lancaster and Eurofighter Typhoon and a gun salute from HMS Belfast.

Recipient Sonia Hartford, who served for 10 years in the Royal Logistics Corps, joined 20 veterans aboard HMS Belfast in London for the ceremony.

"I will cherish my badge and wear it with a great deal of pride, especially as it has been presented to me in such eminent company as (former Labour Chancellor) Lord Healy, the recipient of the first Veterans’ Badge," she said.

Mr Twigg added: "Veterans deserve recognition and respect for their service to the nation and for the role they continue to play in their community."

The badge is available to all those who served at any time up to December 31, 1994. A separate UK Merchant Seafarers Veteran’s Badge was introduced in 2006 to reflect their unique relationship with the armed forces over the years.

The formation for the HMS Belfast flypast consisted of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster and a Typhoon multi-role fighter.