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WW II veteran gets millionth new UK passport

News18

Updated: February 25, 2011, 8:18 AM IST
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WW II veteran gets millionth new UK passport
The 'Scenic Britain' passport features iconic images from across the nation.

London: A World War II veteran has been issued the millionth new British passport free of cost as part of the special UK scheme for the war-time generation.

Janet Varrall is the one millionth person to receive a new 'Scenic Britain' passport, since they were first issued last October.

The 82-year-old woman is among the 700,000 World War II veterans to receive a free passport since the scheme began in 2004.

"I am delighted that a World War II veteran like Mrs Varrall has received the millionth new UK passport for free," Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service, Sarah Rapson said.

"Mrs Varrall and her generation deserve to get their passports for free in recognition of the sacrifices they made during the war. It is right that those who gave up so much to guarantee our security should be given the privilege of free passports."

Varrall, from Deal in Kent, measured rations as a teenager during the war and also looked after the Women's Land Army as they ploughed the fields, dug up potatoes and harvested the crops.

"I am pleased the government has thought to recognise the hard work and sacrifices my generation made during the war in this way," she said.

In recognition of the sacrifices made by World War II veterans and civilians, any British citizen born on or before September 2, 1929 do not have to pay for a UK passport.

The 'Scenic Britain' passport features iconic images from across the nation, including the White Cliffs of Dover, the Gower Peninsula, Ben Nevis and the Giant's Causeway.

The new images recreated through special high-security printing techniques are among the more than 50 new security features of the passport.

It has been designed to give UK citizens added protection from identity theft and fraud.

"Through its combination of physical and electronic security features, the UK passport remains one of the most secure and trusted documents in the world, meeting rigorous international standards. The new design is part of our strategy to stay ahead of criminals who look to fraudulently alter or copy passports," Rapson said.

First Published: February 25, 2011, 8:18 AM IST
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