KINDHEARTED builders have rallied round a Second World War veteran after he fell and broke his leg.

Sam Turner, 92, who served in the Royal Navy aboard the Arctic Convoys, fell and broke his leg earlier this year and spent weeks in hospital.

During his recovery and after finding out Mr Turner would need a wetroom in order to return home, Peter May, councillor for Canvey Central and a friend of Sam’s, decided to help.

After getting in touch with developers Billy Heale and David Dady the men decided to build the state-of-the-art wetroom for Mr Turner free of charge with Canvey Supply donating the materials.

Sam’s daughter Trish Fry, 58, of Champlain Avenue, Canvey, said: “He came back to live with us for a while, but wanted to return to his own home. He’s fiercely independent but the problem is he only has a bath, so without everyone’s generosity I don’t know what we would have done, probably looked at some sort of care.

“I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity, I just can’t thank them enough.

“It gives him that bit more independence which is amazing.”

Sam lied about his age and joined the Navy aged 17 and became a highly decorated veteran with medals including the Arctic Star, Atlantic Star, Pacific Star, Africa Star and Burma Star and the Ushakov Medal from the Russian government for his wartime service which saw him narrowly escape with his life.

Trish added: “He owes his life to a box of matches.

“His boat was in Japan and they were all out on deck sitting down and he was the only one with a light and as he stood up to get his box of matches out of his back pocket there was a Kamikaze attack and in the air strike he got hit in the leg.

“All of his friends sitting down were hit and he was the only one to survive.

“He now always carries a box of matches with him.”

Winston Churchill described the Arctic Convoy missions as “the worst journey in the world”

and as well as dealing with attack from German U-boats and aircraft, sailors had to cope with the freezing conditions.

Mrs Fry said: “I’m extremely proud of him.

“He was on the Arctic Convoys and he’s always said it was horrendous and how there were 40ft waves and freezing conditions.

“They didn’t knowwhere they were from one minute to the next and were always on high alert because they so aware of the U Boats.

“They were always so wet and tired and so fearful that each day was going to be their last.”

Mr May said he and his friends were eager to help Mr Turner in any way they could knowing how much he had given to his country.

He said: “Everyone was really happy to help Sam out, “I knew he had been in the war but I had no idea of all that he had done.

“For months I had been looking for this veteran George Turner but couldn’t find out who he was or where he lived.

“When I was at Sam’s his daughter showed me some medals that were pride of place and they were for George Turner.

“I couldn’t understand why Sam had this man’s medals but it turns out he isn’t really called Sam, it’s just a nickname from when he was younger and he’s actually George Turner and is a real hero.”