A WAR hero has finally received a clasp for medals he earned more than 75 years ago.

Former Squadron Leader Ken Symonds, 97, from Martinstown, received a welcome surprise when he was finally awarded a Bomber Command Clasp, thanks to efforts from his local MP.

Mr Symonds saw service in North Africa, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, USA and Vietnam during his long military career.

He flew Lancaster bombers during the Second World War undertaking several bomber runs, and was on the very last Lancaster home following the final bombing run. His crew then flew over Buckingham Palace on VE Day.

Mr Symonds’ neighbour decided to act after finding out he had not received the Bomber Command Clasp for medals he received for heroism. After being told she could expect months to wait before Mr Symonds could receive his clasp, she then turned to West Dorset MP Chris Loder, who chased the matter up with the MOD.

Mr Loder said: “This was a small, but significant gesture of thanks to one of the last surviving members of our greatest generation, to whom we all owe so much.

"Ken served not just with bravery and distinction during the Second World War but throughout his 40 year career including action in the Falkland Islands.

"It is only right that we ensure every brave veteran gets the recognition they deserve from the country for which they have given so much so freely.”