The British Legion has joined MPs in expressing outrage at Britain's failure to honour the country's oldest war veteran.

In a special ceremony yesterday Henry Allingham was awarded the Legion d Honneur, France's highest badge of courage.

But the 112-year-old, one of only two surviving First World War veterans in Britain, who has raised thousands of pounds for charity, has not been formally recognised by the British Government.

The Argus is now calling on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to give Henry the title he deserves.

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The veteran, who lives at St Dunstan's care home for blind exservice personnel in Ovingdean, Brighton, has held the French rank of chevalier, or knight, in the Legion d'Honneur since 2003 and yesterday was promoted to the rank of officer.

Choking back tears at the London residence of the French ambassador Mr Allingham spoke of his joy at being honoured for his wartime service.

He told the French ambassador, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne: "You are so kind. Thank you, thank you. God bless you."

Although Mr Allingham has been awarded a British War medal and a Victory medal he has never had a British honour equivalent to his French titles.

Speaking after the ceremony, a spokesman for The British Legion said: "Other governments seem more generous in recognising their war veterans than this country.

"So many deserving people get left out and there doesn't appear to be any rules or guidelines as to what people should get to bring them into the limelight.

"It's heartbreaking when people don't receive an award they deserve."

Des Turner, MP for Brighton Kemptown, joined The Argus in calling for Mr Allingham to be given a British order of honour.

He said: "Henry Allingham has not only gone on to live to a ripe old age but he has continued to work very hard for soldiers past and present.

"I certainly think he deserves an award from this country.

"If certain awards like the Order of Merit can only be held by a certain number of people at any given time, perhaps an exception could be made."

Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, added: "Henry Allingham is an example to us all. Over the past ten years and more he has drawn attention to the great horrors of war and has conducted himself with dignity and pride.

"There could be no one more worthy of an honour in this country.

"It's great news that the French have taken this step but it's a great pity our government could not do the same."