Bourne war veteran Claude visits the Cenotaph for VE Day
War veteran Claude Rolt from Bourne joined about 1,000 fellow veterans for an emotional service of remembrance at the Cenotaph in London to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day.
Claude, aged 94, received a special invitation from the Queen inviting him to attend the service in London on Friday last week, to remember those who sacrificed their lives.
Claude, who was accompanied by his brother-in-law on the day, said: “It was a lovely surprise. There were so many people there on the day who took the time to shake my hand and say thank you - it was very emotional.”
Joined by fellow representatives of Second World War veteran groups, both military and civilian, the service was also attended by The Duke of York, senior politicians, the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton and current members of the Armed Forces.
People lined the streets to watch the service which included a two-minute silence followed by the Last Post which was played by a Royal Marine bugler and the laying of wreaths.
Claude, who still lives at home, said: “It was an honour to be there, it was a beautiful occasion.”
Both Claude and his twin brother, George, who lives in Pointon, joined the forces aged just 18 years old, and both worked as drivers in the war transporting troops and prisoners of war across France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
Claude explained how it was a frightening job, having to drive the large vehicles on your own, often in the dark with no lights allowed.
Their older brother Jack, from Bourne, also fought in the war and will be turning 100 in September.
Claude is grateful to have such a large family who have supported him over the years, including his six great grandchildren.