Threatening 91-year-old former Royal Marines Commando Patrick Churchill with eviction from his allotment was asking for trouble.

As a D-Day veteran and a popular local figure, who over years has taken much pleasure from his allotment, he can rely on friends, family, in fact the whole local community coming to his support. David Cameron, it turns out, is particularly fond of him, having travelled to Normandy with Mr Churchill to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

But the real reason the chairman of the association, who runs the site, was setting herself up for the mother of all backlashes is because it was a mean spirited act, setting a petty rule above common sense and respect due to a remarkable man.

It is good that the case has come to light, if only to show Mr Churchill that he will never be short of friends and people who recognise they will always be in his debt.

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