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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 May, 2005, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
Lottery funding for Heroes Return
War medals on jackets
Veterans can visit the countries where they served
Nearly 400 people from the south of England are being given the opportunity to travel overseas and remember fallen comrades from World War II.

Veterans, spouses, widows and carers have been awarded money by the Big Lottery Fund Heroes Return scheme.

They include Roy Mayne, from Ashford, Kent, who served with the RAF, and James Orchard, from the Isle of Wight, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Other veterans have until 31 May to apply for a Heroes Return grant.

A total of 397 people from across the south and south east will now be able to revisit the WWII battlefields where they served.

War graves

Mr Mayne was cut off by German forces for three days when he was an RAF ground gunner in Egypt.

He will make his Heroes Return trip to Cairo in October.

Mr Orchard was known as "Lucky Jim" after surviving through more than 100 shipping strike missions to the Middle East and Malta.

He will also go to Egypt in October to visit war graves near Alexandria.

More than 29,000 people across the UK have benefited from Heroes Return since it began in 2004.

Big Lottery Fund spokeswoman Alison Rowe said: "The 60th anniversary [VE Day] commemorations continue to underline how much Britain today owes to the veterans."

Parades and bunting mark VE Day
08 May 05 |  Southern Counties

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