In March, The Argus launched its Honour For Henry campaign asking the British Government to give First World War veteran Henry Allingham the recognition he deserves. Today, in an open letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, The Argus is urging the Government to finally give Mr Allingham the recognition he deserves.

Dear Gordon Brown In the latter years of his life Henry Allingham, Europe's oldest man and one of only two survivors remaining from the First World War, has done more for war veterans than most.

On Saturday, Mr Allingham turned 113 – the 65th anniversary of D-Day. It is fitting that Mr Allingham should celebrate reaching this milestone on such a day.

Mr Allingham’s life has spanned three centuries, through the reigns of six monarchs and two world wars. He is cared for at St Dunstan’s Home for blind ex-servicemen and women in Ovingdean, Brighton, and his thoughts are frequently with those who lost their lives to secure our freedom.

It is amazing to hear someone speak about their experiences of the First World War.

Despite his age, Mr Allingham’s memories of that time are still extremely vivid and he is always ready to share them to educate people.

He loves going into schools and speaking to the children because he wants to make sure they never forget what happened during both world wars.

Mr Allingham has led an eventful life. He was born in Clapham, on June 6, 1896, but his father died when he was just one year old so he was brought up by his mother and his grandparents.

He got a job as a trainee surgical instrument maker at St Bart’s Hospital in London after leaving school but soon left for a job at a coach building firm.

His mother dissuaded him from joining up when war broke out in 1914 and he stayed at home to look after her until she died the following year.

In 1915, he enlisted with the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) - the forerunner of the RAF – as an air mechanic.

In 1916, he joined the trawler HMS Kingfisher, which was involved in the Battle of Jutland. He was posted to the Western Front to join 12 Squadron in 1917, a training unit when the RNAS was involved in the Third Battle Ypres where nearly half a million servicemen lost their lives.

He was eventually posted to Dunkirk to repair and recover aircraft and remained there until the end of the war. His unit sustained repeated attacks from air, land and sea.

Mr Allingham has had many awards bestowed upon him during his long life, including the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest badge of courage.

He was awarded the French rank of chevalier, or knight, in the Legion d’Honneur in 2003 but was promoted to the rank of officer in March.

Many people have expressed their surprise that Mr Allingham has not been formally recognised by the British Government for his tireless work.

Dennis Goodwin, a close friend of Mr Allingham, who is also the founder of the First World War Veterans’ Association, said if Mr Allingham was to be honoured it should be something which has been specially created for him outside of the parameter of the orders which have been awarded in the past.

Mr Allingham wants people to keep in their hearts and minds what these men went through.

The Argus has been campaigning for Mr Allingham to be recognised by the British Government and has received scores of signatures on a petition and letters in support of this.

Readers have been moved by his story and have sent in many touching messages.

In March, Mr Allingham was made an honorary freeman of the city of Brighton and Hove and was bestowed with the title on April 30.

This followed an overwhelming response to The Argus’s Honour For Henry campaign.

He became the second man to receive the honour, which has only been in existence since Brighton and Hove became a unitary authority in 1997. The other is former Argus correspondent Adam Trimingham.

Mr Allingham’s name is now written into the records alongside Winston Churchill and Earl Hague, who were made freemen of the borough of Brighton for their wartime efforts.

Mr Allingham has been honoured by having his name put on a Brighton and Hove bus.

In May, he was presented with an honorary doctorate in engineering for his contribution to Britain and its allies during the two world wars. He was given the award at the Warsash Martime Academy by Southampton Solent University’s chancellor, Lord Alan West, the former First Sea Lord.

Mr Allingham is now incredibly frail, yet he still travels far and wide to talk about his experiences because in his own words, people must never, ever forget about those who sacrificed their lives during the war.

Mr Allingham should be honoured by the British Government before it is too late – to recognise not just his efforts but those of all the other men who fought so bravely and lost their lives.

The Argus.