Standard saves the day after showing support for 97-year-old veteran caught up in passport crisis



A 97-year-old Second World War hero caught in the passport crisis will travel to Holland next week for commemorations of its liberation from the Nazis thanks to the Evening Standard.


Peter Smoothy’s old document was received by the Passport Office on April 1 but the application wasn’t processed until we stepped in.


Officials contacted him yesterday to say his passport had been printed after the Standard highlighted his plight in an article. Cab driver friend Brian Heffernan drove 150 miles to Peterborough to collect it.


Mr Smoothy, of Herne Bay, Kent, served in the Royal Navy and landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.


He can now join other veterans travelling in a fleet of black cabs to the Netherlands on a ferry on Monday to mark the signing of the German occupiers’ capitulation at Wageningen on May 5, 1945.


Mr Smoothy told the Standard: “I cannot thank everyone enough for all their help. I really thought I’d be stuck at home but now I can join the other veterans in paying our respects.”


Organiser Dick Goodwin, of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, added: “We have been overwhelmed with the support for our campaign.


“Peter’s MP... and the Standard immediately stepped forward and we are so grateful to them.”