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Free tours for war veterans to pay their respects to comrades

Second World War veterans are being offered the chance to pay their respects to fallen comrades through free tours.
Second World War veterans are being offered the chance to pay their respects to fallen comrades through free tours.

Second World War veterans are being offered the chance of a free trip to pay their respects to fallen comrades.

The Treasury is enabling a series of free-of-charge tours for a World War II veteran and a family member and carer to visit former battlegrounds and cemeteries.

Now the travel arm of the Royal British Legion, Remembrance Travel, is appealing for veterans to get in touch if they are interested.

Nichola Rowlands, Head Of Travel at the Royal British Legion, said: “We have organised tours for hundreds of D-Day veterans, a family member and carer, and it has proven a very moving experience for all.

“We have been campaigning to widen the tours for all World War II veterans and we’re delighted that the Treasury has made this possible.”

Veterans wishing to apply via the tour operator Arena Travel should call 01473 660800, or see www.arenatravel.com/our-holidays/remembrance-travel

Remembrance Travel will also be offering group travel opportunities for World War II veteran associations.

The tours will take place from spring to autumn and will give veterans, now mostly in their 90s, the chance to meet up with comrades and visit significant battlefield sites, cemeteries and memorials.

The tours will be accompanied by a medic and a guide from the Royal British Legion.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond said: “I had the privilege of meeting veterans last year and I’m delighted that we can continue to support those who want to return with the Royal British Legion to the countries where they served.

“We have committed over £5million of Libor funds to help those who fought for our freedom to return to pay their respects and safeguard the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Ms Rowlands added: “We know how great the British public can be and we’re relying on everyone to help us spread the word to find every single living World War II veteran.

“There’s no database so if you’re a grandchild, neighbour or carer and know someone who fought in World War II, please tell them about these amazing tours.”