Comic moments amid the old photographs

War veteran Kenneth Mason in Sri Lanka with daughters Jane Holloway, left, and Karen Oakley, right.
War veteran Kenneth Mason in Sri Lanka with daughters Jane Holloway, left, and Karen Oakley, right.
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KENNETH Mason’s daughter Jane Holloway said photographs of her dad while stationed in Colombo resembled scenes from 1970s TV comedy series ‘It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum’.

She told how her father used to entertain her and her sister with his tales from the island and elsewhere during his service.

Jane said: “Dad particularly wanted to go back to Sri Lanka because it was the place he spent the most time during the war.

“He used to tell my sister and I all sorts of stories when we were young about what happened.

“Stories ranged from what it was like out there to his experience onboard ships where conditions were very cramped and they had to eat whatever food they were given - even cereal which was stored in giant barrels with weevils living in them.”

Jane, 50, from Stannington, who works at Tramways Medical Centre, Hillsborough, added: “Dad has a whole album of photos taken during the war, some of which are like scenes from ‘It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum’. It was amazing to be able him re-trace his steps and visit some of his old haunts.

“The whole family is incredibly grateful for the opportunity the Heroes Return scheme has given us. I knew that the National Lottery funded projects like new buildings and monuments but I never realised schemes like Heroes Return existed.”

The National Lottery is currently screening a series of television adverts to promote the Heroes Return scheme to other veterans.

n More information and details of how to apply for a Heroes Return grant are available by calling 0845 0000121 or visiting www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/heroesreturn.