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A D-Day veteran who wears nine medals including the rare Atlantic Star has said he “would not fight for the country as it is today".

Les Underwood, a Royal Navy gunner who was one of 160,000 men tasked with launching the liberation of Europe in June 1944, said he was now scared of being "stabbed or shot" if he left his home.

Mr Underwood, 98, was stationed on a merchant ship that unloaded ammunition day and night from the English Channel.

"All you could hear was men screaming and guns going," he said, recalling his friends’ bodies floating in the water.

However, the veteran from Romford said that Britain's high levels of crime meant the country he fought to protect was unrecognisable to him today.

He told GB News: “Why would I fight for a country that I am scared to leave the house in case of getting mugged, stabbed or shot? There is no Great Britain anymore."

Shoplifting has higher reported offences than ever before with an increase of 37 per cent.

Knife crime and robbery have also risen this year, according to the Office of National Statistics.

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Mr Underwood, along with 16 other veterans, returned to Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day after Taxi Charity for Military veterans raised money to take them over.

He joined up when he was 15. His mother signed the permission slip.

“She said I needed a bit of discipline", he remembered. “All the memories come back”

Mr Underwood told GB News of returning to Normandy on the 80th anniversary a fortnight ago.

“I cried because when you’re on board a ship, you eat together, sleep together, go on shore together and then you seem them just put in a canvas bag and tip them over the side,” he added.

However, Mr Underwood still believes “lives weren’t lost in vain.”

He added: “When we go to France, Belgium and Holland they make a tremendous fuss of us. And it’s worth it. I would do it again for them.”

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