Earlier this year, Pilgrim Bandits led the charge to bring a 98-year-old SAS war hero back home to Britain – and we’re delighted to announce that he is now back home in the UK and has taken up his residency as a Chelsea Pensioner in the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
New Milton based charity for veterans and emergency services personnel, Pilgrim Bandits launched a campaign in February to bring home World War Two veteran, John Morris from Australia and raised over £15,000. At the time, John was stranded in Australia awaiting his Covid-19 vaccination.
John Morris joined the Royal Artillery in 1939 at the age of 17 and fought as an Anti-aircraft Gunner in the Battle of Britain. He volunteered for Special Forces and was posted to the Raiding Support Regiment, a wartime special forces regiment. John was in uniform until 1946 and then went on to have a career as a Territorial Army Reservist in post-war Britain.
John moved to Australia over 30 years ago, but more recently had fallen on hard times, which, unfortunately, was exacerbated by the pandemic.
Pilgrim Bandits CEO, former SAS Warrant Officer Matt Hellyer, said after hearing John’s story, the charity wanted to help out a fellow veteran in need and bring him home to receive his Covid-19 vaccination and to take up his place as a Chelsea Pensioner.
Matt said: “John really needed our help and we are delighted to have been able to support him in this way. Becoming a Chelsea Pensioner is a life-changing opportunity for him. He is overwhelmed by all the support he has received – getting him back to the UK has been his plight, to live a comfortable life surrounded by his ex-military comrades. He’s 98-years-old and had fallen on hard times, simply due to life experiences, which could happen to any of us, so we really wanted to help him.
“Pilgrim Bandits and John’s regimental associations led the charge in his time of financial hardship and we would like to express a heartfelt thanks to all those that donated to the campaign and to those that regularly support the charity. Funds raised have not only created a life-changing opportunity for John, but will also help other veterans in similar situations.”
You can read more about the Bring John Home campaign here: http://bit.ly/BringJohnMorrisHome.