TRULY abandoned, forgotten and ignored, is how a Falklands War and Gulf War veteran described himself this week.

David Yates is selling his war medals at auction tomorrow in a desperate bid to raise awareness of how he had hit hard times during the Covid pandemic — when he failed to receive support from government or military charities despite being a struggling self-employed, clinically extremely vulnerable heart disease and prostate cancer patient.

His Falklands and Gulf War medals and a signed first edition copy of his book Bomb Alley are being auctioned by Dix Noonan Webb of Mayfair tomorrow (Wednesday) — consigned to lot number 278 among a long list of other memorabilia available to the highest bidder.

The estimate is he will get £1,500 to £1,800. He has also launched an online Just Giving campaign.

He says all the money raised will be divided equally between MacMillan Cancer Support, Prostate Cancer UK, the British Heart Foundation and his wife Simone – who has cared for him throughout his hardship. Simone in turn will donate her share to the WOW women's centre in Newport.

The main problem for David, 64, who lives near Chale, was that he was ineligible for Self-Employment Income Support (SEIS) due to being in receipt of an Armed Forces pension — which was marginally higher than his income for the specified three-year period.

He lodged an official HMRC appeal, but it was rejected, and didn't get anywhere with appealing through the Armed Forces Covenant.

He said: "I served in the Royal Navy from 1976 to 2000, and fought in the Falklands War and First Gulf War.

"If a painter and decorator, fitness trainer, builder, graphic designer, joiner, beautician, electrician, hairdresser, gardener etc could receive generous payments, then surely, we who have served our country and fought in wars should have been entitled to the same level of support?

"Armed Forces charities were resistant to, or flatly ignored, my appeals, despite the fact that, as a long distance walker, I have helped to raise many thousand pounds for their good causes.

"The whole process made me feel like an old be-medalled veteran who had to beg for money in the street."

In June 2019, David had two coronary stents fitted and was also diagnosed with initial stage prostate cancer.

Despite this diagnosis, he only received a letter from the NHS advising him to shield at home, three months after the start of the first lockdown.

However, due to his ineligibility for SEIS, he was unable to stay at home as he had to continue earning.

In November 2020, it was detected that his prostate cancer had grown rapidly. He had major surgery in March 2021. After the operation, being unable to work for seven weeks, David applied for Income Support for the first time in his life. The application was rejected, once again due to his Armed Forces pension.

The only help he could find was a £350 clothing allowance from MacMillan Cancer Support.

He said: "I understand the SEIS anomaly was just an oversight, caused by the speed of introduction of the otherwise largely commendable scheme, and it could have been easily rectified by exempting clinically extremely vulnerable Armed Forces pension-receiving self-employed veterans from this ruling.

"I estimate I have missed out on payments amounting to about £11,000, have had to place my life in unnecessary danger and cause no end of damage to my mental health.

"The Isle of Wight Council did finally award me two small business and re-start grants, totalling £3,000, but these are far short of the sums I would have received without my pension.

"It is not as if there are many veterans in the same boat as myself. According to the South Atlantic Medal Association 82, I appear to be their only Falklands War veteran affected by this ruling.

"My aim is to highlight this shocking treatment. I will also be seeking to hold parliament to account and try to make them honour their pledges, that they will do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the most vulnerable and those who have served their country, by granting myself and others a suitable sum to acknowledge the financial anomaly that has occurred."

David's fundraising page is at