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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 18:24 GMT
Guard of honour for WWI veterans
Bill Stone and Henry Allingham
Bill Stone and Henry Allingham are honoured at the army museum
Two of the last surviving World War I veterans have been given a guard of honour as part of their quest to keep remembrance of fallen comrades alive.

Henry Allingham, who at 109 is Britain's oldest man, was arm-in-arm with 105-year-old Bill Stone at the National Army Museum on Wednesday.

Mr Allingham, from Eastbourne, East Sussex will travel to France to attend remembrance services on Thursday.

Mr Stone, from Watlington, Oxfordshire, is a collector for the Poppy Appeal.

A lot of people don't know what poppies are for but I tell them they are very important
Bill Stone

The pair, who are two of fewer than a dozen survivors of the Great War, were heralded by a lone bugler at the central London museum.

Former air mechanic Mr Allingham is due to return from France in time to attend the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Mr Stone, who will attend a service near his home, gives lectures to schools about the significance of the British Legion Poppy Appeal.

"A lot of people don't know what the poppies are for, but I tell them they are very important," he said.

"All the money goes to the British Legion, which keeps the people who were injured in the war - disabled people."

He joined the Navy as a stoker on his 18th birthday in September 1918.

He later rejoined the Senior Service and was among the sailors involved in the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II.

Mr Allingham grew up in Clapton, east London, and volunteered for service at the age of 18 when World War I broke out.

He joined the Royal Naval Air Service as a mechanic in 1915 before transferring to the newly-formed Royal Air Force in 1918.

In 2003, he received France's highest military award, the Legion d'Honneur.

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06 Jun 05 |  Southern Counties

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