A 91-YEAR-OLD war hero has given his medals away to charity because he does not feel the state of the country today represents what he fought for.
Stanley Gordon Fox, who lives in Bideford, fought in the Second World War and was a prisoner-of-war for nearly two years in Africa.
He served with the South Wales Borderers and the Royal Artillery.
He left the Army at 46, having signed up when he was 14.
He won a series of medals including the African Star, which for decades he treasured and took pride in wearing.
But now Mr Fox feels very differently about his medals because he does not think the younger generation appreciate what people of his age have sacrificed for the country.
As a result he decided to take the drastic step of not only giving his medals to the Children’s Hospice South West, but also his brother’s and his father’s from the Boer War and First World War.
His father was awarded the Military Cross and the St John Ambulance Brigade medal for South Africa, of which only 2,000 were issued.
Mr Fox said: “No one seems to care these days, older people are just treated like a bit of rubbish.
“The country is not as we all hoped. It is not what we fought for. We were proud to fight for the country and I was proud to wear the medals. Now I just hope they can go to help the children and the future and make it better.”
A volunteer for support group TorrAGE Joyce Comfort, 68, helps Mr Fox once a week. She took the collection of medals to the hospice.
She said: “Our older people have died for us, if it wasn’t for them we would be up the creek. Something has got to change, we need to do more for the elderly.”
Tony Siddall, a member of Devon Senior Voice and a welfare officer for the Royal British Legion, said: “I am deeply upset to learn someone has felt they need to go to such lengths to make this sort of protest.
“Some of the older generation feel strongly about what they did for their country.
“It is a great shame this has happened.”
Roy Lucas, a Royal British Legion case worker and the chairman of the North Devon branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, said: “I feel very disappointed when I hear of ex-servicemen who feel they have been let down by the junior elements of the country.”
“I understand exactly where he is coming from, when I go collecting for the legion I see middle-aged people completely disinterested and almost wonder why I am there.”