New Milton charity hits £10k target to bring home stranded 98-year-old ex-SAS war hero
NEW Milton veterans charity Pilgrim Bandits smashed through a £10,000 target to help a stranded ex-SAS war hero return home to the UK.
The fundraising was launched to help Second World War veteran John Morris (98) who has fallen on hard times and is currently in Australia awaiting his Covid-19 vaccination.
He wants to return to Britain to secure a place as a Chelsea Pensioner in the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
After hearing about John, Pilgrim Bandits chief executive and former SAS warrant officer Matt Hellyer decided to launch the appeal – and very quickly raised more than £10,000 from well over 100 donations.
Matt said: “Becoming a Chelsea Pensioner would be a life-changing opportunity for him, but he’s stranded in Australia waiting for his vaccine.
“He is really grateful for all the support he has so far received – getting back to the UK is his plight, to live a comfortable life surrounded by his ex-military comrades.
“He’s 98 years old and has fallen on hard times, simply due to life experiences, which could happen to any of us, so we want to help him.”
At the launch of the appeal, Matt said: “The Pilgrim Bandits and John’s regimental associations are leading the charge in his time of financial hardship and all funds raised will create a life-changing opportunity for John and other veterans in similar situations.”
Having joined the Royal Artillery in 1939 at the age of 17, John fought as an anti-aircraft gunner in the Battle of Britain.
He volunteered for Special Forces and was posted to the Raiding Support Regiment, a branch of the Special Air Service (SAS).
He was in uniform until 1946, when he went on to have a career as a Territorial Army reservist in post-war Britain.