A YOUNG lad was so inspired by the tale of a Bournemouth veteran he has volunteered his Christmas money to an RAF charity.

Stan Hartill was 19-years-old when he joined the RAF as an airframe fitter with 609 Squadron in 1940.

He was part of the air force ground staff during the Battle of Britain, patching up Spitfires to get them back into the fight.

Later in the Second World War, he underwent commando training and was posted to the first Allied airfield established in Normandy just days after D-Day, at one point welcoming General Eisenhower and other commanders to the field.

In one traumatic incident, about which he still has nightmares, he entered a church to find the bodies of 50 soldiers laid out.

Stan, 97, is not in the best of health and needs a car, driven by his daughter Sandra, to get around.

This Christmas his inspiring and moving story featured in an advert for the RAF Benevolent Fund, which supports him.

And the advert was watched by six-year-old Henry Conway, and the lad has offered to give his pocket money and Christmas money to the cause.

"Henry saw the advert and said he wanted to give some money, he was very persistent," said dad Leo, 50. "He gets his pocket money and a bit more for Christmas so we agreed the donation would be part of his present.

"From an early age he has always been socially-minded, if he has something he wants to share it."

Henry, who has been learning about the war at school in Worcestershire, said: "I saw Stan and wanted to do something to help."

Stan, who has been awarded France's Legion d'honneur, its highest award for bravery, among his medals, and has been thanked by Prince Charles and Prince Harry, said the donation was "wonderful".

"The RAF rang me up straight away, Henry is giving money to a very noble cause," he said. "It is wonderful to see a young person who cares about us veterans."

Henry's mum Liz, 40, said: "I think people can be hesitant to talk to children about the war because it can be upsetting, but it is important that they know about what happened."

Carla Stimson, fundraiser for the charity, said: "We were delighted to hear about Henry’s wonderful contribution to the RAF Benevolent Fund in response to our television advert.

"Donations like Henry’s make our work possible to help members of the RAF family who are going through a difficult time and, at six years old, Henry may well be our youngest supporter.

"Bringing the pair together was very moving and a great way to end the year. On behalf of everyone at the RAF Benevolent Fund, thank you both for supporting us."