Page last updated at 01:29 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

WWII veterans given lottery cash

war medals
The scheme allows veterans to return to wartime locations

Three World War II veterans are among those to be given cash to return to their wartime locations after a new round of lottery grants were announced.

The men have received a share of grants of £7,925 from the Big Lottery Fund's 'Heroes Return 2' programme.

Alexander Jackson, from Tranent, Angus Galloway, from Edinburgh and James Peers, from Bearsden, will visit Italy, Canada and London respectively.

This summer marks the 65th anniversary of the end of the war.

Mr Jackson, 91, served with the 6th Armoured Division during the war.

He will travel to the Italian town of Monte Cassino and also be made an honorary citizen of Narni for his part in its liberation on 13 June 1944.

As the Russians advanced we were put on an enforced march for 150 miles in the dead of winter, but I was lucky and survived until the war was over
James Peers

He said: "We fought through North Africa and then on to Italy, landing in Naples on the day Mount Vesuvius erupted.

"Later we became pinned down at Monte Cassino, which was hellish.

"Some things you just want to forget and that's one of them - it still brings tears to my eyes to think about those days.

"This year I will return to Monte Cassino with my family, although I am not sure I will be able to stand it. I plan on laying wreaths at graves of those I served with in what will be an emotional day."

'Daylight raid'

Angus Galloway, 87, served with RAF Bomber Command and was based in Lincolnshire throughout the war before crash-landing in occupied France in 1944.

He was taken to a prisoner of war camp and considered going back to visit, but decided he would rather use the grant to go to Canada, where he carried out his training, and show the sites to his wife and son.

Mr Galloway said: "In August 1944 we had just carried out a daylight raid north of Paris when another Lancaster dropped its load through our plane.

"We thought we could make Normandy, but we had to ditch and were picked up by the Germans immediately.

"I was taken to Stalag Luft 7 in Luckenwaalde in modern-day Poland.

"As the Russians advanced we were put on an enforced march for 150 miles in the dead of winter, but I was lucky and survived until the war was over."

James Peers, 85, from Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, served with 3 Repair and Salvage in the Far East, where he repaired Dakota aeroplanes.

He said: "This year I would have loved to have returned to the Far East but I'm just not up to it anymore.

"Instead I'll be visiting the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon near London, where I'll be able to do some research on some of the people I served with."



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