Page last updated at 03:16 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 04:16 UK

Veterans to get more lottery cash

Headstone in Bayeux, France
The scheme aims to highlight the sacrifices made in WWII

Veterans of World War II are to receive further lottery cash to allow them to visit battlefields overseas.

The Big Lottery Fund has already paid for more than 39,000 former military personnel to return to places where they fought more than 60 years ago.

An extra £800,000 will now allow another 1,100 veterans to do the same under the Heroes Return scheme.

Norman Vickerstaff, from Nottingham, said it would be "moving" to return to Taiwan, where he was a prisoner of war.

Heroes Return, launched in 2004, aims to support war veterans and their families as well as educate other generations on the lives of those who served in conflicts.

'Protecting freedoms'

Mr Vickerstaff, who served first in the Indian Army and then in Malaya and Singapore before becoming a prisoner of war in Taiwan, has received a grant of £2,000.

"I've been a couple of times before. It's a very moving experience, going back," he said.

He will attend an annual commemorative service at the site of the Kinkaseki mine, where he worked when he was a prisoner.

Peter Wanless, the Big Lottery Fund's chief executive, said: "The generation of men and women who served this country during the Second World War gave so much to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.

"On behalf of the whole nation, we are honouring the service and sacrifice of so many of our veterans."

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