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John paid his respects - at the Cenotaph.

KIND-HEARTED comrades ensured that war hero John Mill (left) did not spend Remembrance Day alone after all.

KIND-HEARTED comrades ensured that war hero John Mill (left) did not spend Remembrance Day alone after all.

Three members of Camberley British Legion came to his rescue and took him to Sunday's Cenotaph ceremony in London.

The trio - Jim Gardener, Bill Morris and Fred Nye - contacted 80-year-old John after reading his sad story in last week's Star.

They were upset to learn that he intended to boycott the Remembrance Day service at Aldershot in protest at the way he felt he had been insulted by a Rushmoor council car park officer.

John, of Kenilworth Road, Farnborough, said on Monday: "I had a great day out, and I'm really grateful to the Camberley lads. They told me there was no way they were going to let me spend the day at home on my own."

Because he has had two knee replacements, he wasn't sure when he set out whether he would be able to take part in the veterans' parade. But the grit and determination which helped him survive a terrible war wound shone through.

"I took my walking stick and managed to complete the march," said John, who fought with the Hampshire Regiment in the Second World War.

"I was hobbling a bit towards the end, but there was no way I was going to give up. We had a lot of laughs, especially when someone shouted at us to keep in step."

For much of the parade, however, his thoughts were of his mate, Welshman Charlie Powell, who helped save his life after they escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp in Austria.

Charlie, who died 15 years ago, looked after John after he was shot in the face by a German soldier. The bullet shattered part of his jaw and left him permanently deaf in his right ear.

John, a widower, added that he was overwhelmed by the large number of telephone calls he received from people after his story was highlighted in the Star. "They rang me from as far away as Guildford offering to take me to a Remembrance Day service," he said. Rushmoor Council this week refunded his £20 parking "fine". The cheque dropped on his doormat on Monday without a letter of apology. John has generously donated the money to the Poppy Appeal.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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