A WAR veteran unable to attend a memorial service in person paid his respects to his fallen comrades via a livestream.

Jack Watson, 98, from Lower Willingdon, was able to watch the service which was at the Bomber Command memorial in Green Park, London, on Sunday.

The former flight engineer completed 77 operations in four and a half years with the RAF as part of the Pathfinder Force during the Second World War. He also became a warrant officer before he was demobbed from the Army after the war.

Jack said the memorial was very important to him and it was good to be able to pay his respects from afar.

He said: “The Bomber Command Memorial means everything to me. It is recognition of all my brave comrades who were forgotten after the end of the war. We did our duty and my fallen friends should always be remembered for their sacrifices.

“Although I’m no longer able to attend the service in person, to be able to join and take part from afar is testament to the RAF Benevolent Fund’s dedication to RAF veterans, working hard to make this happen.”

The Argus: Reverend Chrissie Lacey led the ceremony.Reverend Chrissie Lacey led the ceremony.

The service was led by Reverend Chrissie Lacey, who is also a squadron leader. The service included wreath laying from some of the 60 nations who served in Bomber Command.

Chris Elliot, RAF Benevolent Fund controller air vice-marshal, said he was proud to help support veterans like Jack live with “dignity and comfort into their twilight years”.

He said: “We at the fund are all hugely proud of the role we have in preserving the memory of all the young men who flew in Bomber Command. We are equally as proud of our work in supporting this generation of service personnel and their families, ensuring they can live with dignity and comfort into their twilight years.”

The Argus: Veterans paying their respect.Veterans paying their respect.

Jack is one of thousands of RAF veterans who are supported by the RAF Benevolent Fund every year. He contacted the charity when his friend discovered he was struggling to use his oven.

Determined to continue living in his own home, independently, Jack had soldiered on while having to ask his daughter who lives nearby to come and get things out of the oven for him.

The fund made a grant to refurbish Jack’s whole kitchen, including providing an eye-level oven.

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