A HAMPSHIRE war veteran who had fought at D-Day died after choking on his pub lunch, an inquest heard.

Reginald Hamblin was visiting the Golden Lion in Alresford Road, Winchester, with friends for a weekly lunch when he began choking on his ham, egg and chips.

Anthony Hellard, a volunteer driver for the Live At Home scheme, was with Mr Hamblin, of Lawrence Way, and the group when he noticed Mr Hamblin struggling to breathe.

Mr Hellard said: “I gave him three hard bangs on the back and then put him on the floor. I shouted to the bar to get an ambulance and one of the barmaids came over and took over.

“I had started CPR and then tried to get air into him but his airway was blocked.”

Mr Hellard, who was formerly in the Army, said given Mr Hamblin’s frame and his inability to hold himself up he decided not to carry out the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Ben Leathem was the first medic on the scene and said, despite trying to clear Mr Hamblin’s airways while the barmaid continued to carry out CPR, the food causing the blockage was beyond reach of his instruments.

Mr Hamblin, who had been wounded in the D-Day landings, was pronounced dead on August 9, aged 87.

Simon Burge, deputy coroner for Central Hampshire, recorded a verdict of accidental death.