WW2 veteran reunited with 'dead' comrade

A SECOND World War hero from Suffolk has been left stunned after he was reunited with an army friend who he thought had died in the conflict 67 years ago.

A SECOND World War hero from Suffolk has been left stunned after he was reunited with an army friend who he thought had died in the conflict 67 years ago.

Gerry Solomon, from Holbrook, shook hands with old comrade Harry Finlayson after his daughter advertised his survival in a military magazine.

Mr Finlayson, 93, from Somerset, was reported missing presumed dead in 1941 after the German Afrika Korps destroyed his tank at Tobruk.

He was even given a military funeral and his wife was awarded a widow's pension.

But the brave veteran had in fact been captured by the opposing force and was held in Stalag 344 for the rest of the conflict.

Both Mr Finlayson and Mr Solomon, who is now 92, met for a private reunion yesterday and are due to be presented with HM Armed Forces Veterans Badges in Colchester tonight.

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Mr Solomon said he was stunned to hear of his friend's return from the dead, while both admitted they barely recognised each other.

Of their reunion, Mr Finlayson told BBC radio: “We were great friends in the desert and I had a photograph of him and I by the pyramids.

“We chatted for one and half hours. Oh yes, he was surprised - he said, 'I thought you were dead!'”

- For more on this story see tomorrow's paper.

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