The true spirit of reconciliation is tangible in the story of a Weymouth veteran who came face to face with a former enemy.

In 1986, Ralph Allgood crossed paths with former German soldier, Josef Weber, while on a camping holiday in Germany.

"My wife Joan and I went camping near Wiesel in 1986 and the man who showed us where to make our pitch had amazing English,” Ralph, from Preston, said. "Josef told us he had learnt English from British troops in 1945 after he was captured. I pricked up my ears and was truly amazed when he said this had happened on February 9, 1945, in the small Dutch town of Breedeweg."

It turned out that the two men were wounded in the same place just before a fierce battle wiped out all but two of Mr Allgood's section. Ralph was also in the town that day with his unit, the 51 Highland Division, which was moving towards Reichswald.

Both men had stood opposite each other on that day, perhaps face to face, and if they had not been injured they might well have shot at each other in the battle that followed.

Despite this, Ralph and Josef formed a firm friendship, going on to visit British and German war graves together in mutual respect for each other’s country’s loss