A land fit for Heroes
In cloying heat and tangled in barbed wire, Lt Billy Norbury lay in agony from the bullets embedded in his lower body. Grenades were bursting around him and fierce machine-gun fire from the heavily-defended Japanese position was raking the slopes of Jambo Hill.
As his comrades from the King's African Rifles fell dead around him the subaltern, ignoring the pain, got to his feet and carried on the charge up the hill to engage the enemy in hand-to-hand fighting.
For his courage, Lt Norbury was awarded an immediate Military Cross on the battlefield. But 54 years later, after decades of agony and operations, he died from his wounds, penniless and abandoned by the country that had sent him to war, because he had enlisted in a colony.
In 1940 Billy Norbury, born in Mombasa, Kenya, of British parents, joined the KAR, a regiment raised to impose law and order in East Africa.
He was given a "colonial commission", which meant he could fight in East Africa but not abroad. When the War Office discovered that he had been "illegally" fighting abroad in the Burma campaign it upgraded his status to a "King's Commission" - but never informed Lt Norbury of this vital change.
At first, Lt Norbury survived on a war disability pension from the Colonial Office. But in 1963, when Kenya gained independence, responsibility was handed over to the Kenyan government, which refused to pay pensions to foreigners.
Lt Norbury appealed to the War Pensions Agency but was told that because he enlisted in Kenya "any appeals you have to make would have to be with the Kenyan authorities".
In 1971 the officer discovered he could apply to the British Government for a supplement to his pension and wrote to the agency. Lt Norbury received a reply two years later that included a questionnaire, which he filled out. But he heard nothing more and assumed he was ineligible.
His doctor wrote to the agency asking for a review, but he too received no reply.
The Veterans Agency said war disability pensions were only for those who fought in the Armed Forces in units based in Britain. "We do have to abide by the provisions of the law. Either people are entitled to the pension or not," a spokesman said.
I'm incapable of any comment - off to the range!