A SECOND World War soldier from Windlesham wants a Victoria Cross for his bravery.

Sidney Andrews, 85, of Broadway Road, said he had been fighting for recognition of his actions since the end of the war but had not received the medal he felt he had earned.

No medals have been awarded retrospectively since the war ended in 1945.

But Mr Andrews (pictured during the war) hopes that if he is successful it may open the door for other soldiers.

He said: "Since 1955 I've been writing to Whitehall and to the Queen but they fail to acknowledge my service and loyalty to the country.

"I sincerely earned that medal and I will not let it end."

But a Royal British Legion spokesman said it was too late for Mr Andrews to be awarded a medal: "If he wasn't recommended at the time then he wouldn't be considered now.

"This is mainly because the Ministry of Defence won't look at any medals, not even campaign medals, retrospectively."

He also said that even if this was not the case, Mr Andrews would have to be able to produce witnesses to everything he claims to have done.

During the Second World War Mr Andrews was a private with the First 5th Battalion of the Essex Regiment, but said he also worked in the intelligence unit at Colchester headquarters.

On several occasions he was told it was his bravery that saved the lives of comrades.

In a field in Deal, Kent, he led a captain and nine soldiers out of a minefield they had strayed into by mistake.

With thick snow on the ground he turned around and trod on the boots of the soldiers behind him, then stepped in their footprints as they followed him single file.

On another occasion in Italy he claims to have saved his captain from treading on a mine when he spotted a black trip wire across their path.

He also led more than 100 soldiers to safety on a night march after the major in charge misread the map and was leading the men towards enemy ground.

On all these occasions, Mr Andrews says, his superior officers commended him for his courage.

In his soldier's release book his military conduct is described as "exemplary" and his testimonial states he is "a hard-working and willing man who is reliable and efficient, smart and trustworthy".

He was awarded six medals during his army career, including the Star, the Africa Star, the Italy Star, the defence medal and the France and Germany Star.

To date 181 Victoria Crosses have been awarded for "gallantry above and beyond the call of duty".

Mr Andrews believes he deserves the ultimate recognition of bravery and says he is determined to fight until he gets it.

He added: "People who know what happened during the war have said that I earned this medal."