Second World War veteran to retrace steps

A NORTH-EAST veteran will relive his war time memories during a commemorative visit to Malta.

Billingham man Ron Veitch, 88, served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War and saw many battles during his time at sea.

He was a Petty Officer on HMS Glasgow when the ship was bombed by Italian aircraft in the Mediterranean. Following the attack, the ship was taken to Malta to be repaired. Mr Veitch will soon set out on a commemorative trip to the area.

He plans to visit the local dockyard and the Rotunda of Mosta church, where a German bomb fell among a congregation of more than 300 people but failed to explode.

He said: “I’ll be going with my son to show him the places I remember. It will bring back memories of how wonderful the people were and the kindness they showed to us. They were very grateful to the Allies for risking and losing their lives at sea for them.”

The trip is being undertaken as part of ‘Heroes Return 2’, a Big Lottery funded scheme enabling World War II veterans, widows, spouses and carers to take commemorative trips to the UK, France, Germany, the Middle East and beyond.

Since 2004, more than £25m has been awarded to more than 52,000 people to travel under the Heroes Return scheme. Now, it has been expanded to allow veterans to make a second trip.

For details on how to apply to the Heroes Return 2 programme, contact the helpline on 0845 00 00 121 or visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/heroesreturn

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