TWO veterans of the Second World War were delighted to meet unexpectedly at a major charity event at the air festival.

Airman Doug Temple, aged 96, and army sergeant Kenneth Williams, 92, chatted in the VIP hospitality marquee before watching the flying display on Sunday.

Kenneth, of Highcliffe, forged his dad's signature to join the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry as he was underage.

One of his claims to fame was seeing Italy's dictator Benito Mussolini strung up by a lamp-post near the end of the conflict.

Doug, who lives in Westbourne, trained as a pilot at RAF Halton and in Canada before becoming a captain on the B24 and fighting the Japanese in the Far East.

They came together at the charity event which also had a military theme.

It was the big annual fundraiser for the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation.

The charity was founded in 2008 at the very first air festival, in memory of Royal Marine John who lost his life in Afghanistan earlier that year, aged 21.

John's dad Pete said: "We have been going as long as the air festival and we really feel it's part of the charity's identity.

"We are very pleased to be here for the eleventh year and we feel JTYAF and the air festival are inextricably linked."

Pete added the charity which helps young people fulfil their hopes and ambitions has probably raised around £60,000 at the air festival over the years, a good proportion of the £500,000 it has generated overall.

He paid tribute to the hospitality marquee organisers and caterers Slick Events for "an absolutely fabulous day."

One of the auction items was claimed by John's mum Linda.

The evocative print of the Red Arrows ('Sweeping the Skies') was signed by several pilots past and present, including Dan Simmons.

Linda explained: "When John was in his teens and with the Junior Leaders, he won the chance to fly with the Red Arrows and it was Dan who took him up at RAF Scampton in 2003.

"We all went up for to Lincolnshire for it and it was just the best day ever. So I just had to have the print. It now has a very special place at home."

Among those who dropped in to support JTYAF as they do every year were the pilots of the Black Cats team.

"We are always delighted to come by and help because it's a great cause," said Lieutenant James Cosham.

Just over £6,000 was raised on the day thanks to match funding by Barclays.