A WIRRAL war veteran has made an emotional journey back to Asia where he fought in World War Two.
Richard Morgan was just 16 when he left The Royal College of Sea in Liverpool and joined the Royal Navy.
He sailed to Singapore on a rescue mission during the Second World War.
Speaking about his experiences as a Royal Navy Gunner in Asia, Richard said: “In 1942 I sailed to Singapore as part of the rescue mission to get troops and civilians away from the oncoming Japanese invasion.
“Sunk ships were all around us but we were not allowed to pick up survivors because stopping would mean we would be hit ourselves. That is something I will never forget.”
Through the National Lottery’s Heroes Return scheme, Richard was given the opportunity to return to Singapore and Thailand.
The 87-year-old, of Wallasey, is one of 51,000 people who have made commemorative trips through the scheme.
Richard added: “Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to go back.
“It was seeing the graves of my friends and paying my respects, but also to see what we had been fighting for.
“It was fantastic to have the opportunity to see what has happened to these countries.
“I would urge other veterans thinking about doing a similar trip to sign up straight away. I am so glad I went.”
Throughout this month an advert is being shown nationwide by the National Lottery.
It depicts the struggle by British soldiers who fought in the Asian jungle and the poignancy surrounding thair return trips years later.
National Lottery Forum chairman Peter Wanless said: “This moving advert reminds us of the sacrifices Richard Morgan and his comrades made for this nation.”
More than £27bn has been given to voluntary and community groups since the National Lottery started in 1994.
They include Wirral Environmental Network in Wallasey, Wallasey Cricket Club, Wallasey Music Centre and The Lonsdale Trust.
To apply for the Heroes Return scheme call 0845 0000 121 or visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/heroesreturn