Private Joseph Hammond, a 95-year-old Ghanaian World War Two veteran, is to be honoured by Queen Elizabeth II for his fundraising efforts.
Private Joseph Hammond walked two miles (3.2km) a day for a week in May, raising $35,000 for frontline health workers and veterans in Africa.
“I was overwhelmed and filled with joy,” he said on hearing he was to get a Commonwealth Point of Light award.
He said he had been inspired by fellow veteran Capt Tom Moore, who raised more than £32m in the UK to fight Covid-19.
Capt Moore completed 100 laps of his garden in the run-up to his 100th birthday in April 2020 for NHS charities.
This prompted Pte Hammond to start his own campaign to raise money to buy personal protection equipment (PPE) for health workers and to protect vulnerable veterans on the African continent.
He started each day’s walk in the capital, Accra, early in the morning so he could complete his two miles before the heat and humidity of the day peaked.
He wanted to raise about $600,000 in total, so the former Ghanaian soldier, who like Capt Moore fought in Burma, hopes donations will continue to be made.
Pte Hammond, who was drafted into the Royal West African Frontier Force at the age 16, will receive the award at the UK High Commission in Accra at a date still to be decided.
Earlier this month, he had received a letter from Prince Harry, the Queen’s grandson, commending him on his walk.
Pte Hammond had met Prince Harry, who works to support veterans, during an event at the Field of Remembrance in the grounds of Westminster Abbey in London last year.
Three years after the end of World War Two, Ghana, then the Gold Coast, was rocked by riots following the killing of three Ghanaian veterans who had been demanding compensation for their service during the conflict.
It became a milestone in Ghana’s struggle for independence from the UK, which was achieved in 1957.
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