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War veteran passport fight

Friday, December 7, 2001

A British Army veteran of the Korean War who has lived in Britain almost all his life is finally the proud possessor of a British Passport.

Anthony Bale, 73, from Jordanthorpe, Sheffield applied for a passport in September because he wanted to visit war graves in Belgium. He was appalled to be told he didn’t have automatic entitlement to one, because he was born in India to a serving British Army soldier and his wife.

The only times he has been overseas was with the Army when he travelled to Korea and Hong Kong as part of his Army service so he hasn’t ever needed a passport before.
Tony, who is the standard bearer for the South Yorkshire Korean Veterans Association on Armistice Day, then contacted his MP, Meg Munn saying he felt like throwing his medals in the bin. Meg wrote to Home Secretary, David Blunkett, and also to the Passport Service, expressing astonishment at the situation and asking for an urgent investigation.

The Home Office Nationalisation Directorate (ironically based in India Buildings in Liverpool) issued Tony with naturalisation papers last month. He had to swear an allegiance “I do solemnly and sincerely affirm that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors, according to law”

“It is the second time I have said the oath of allegiance”, commented Tony “I said it when I first entered the army.”

And now at last, a delighted and proud Anthony Bale has been sent his British Passport.

“It’s all down to Meg Munn, she has worked wonders”

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