A WAR veteran who says he injured his back loading a tank for the D-Day landings has lost his fight to get a disability pension.

Charles Carter, 79, from Darlington, fell and hurt his back while taking a brake drum off a tank bound for France in 1943.

The injury did not prevent him taking part in the D-Day landing as a tank driver and gunner on June 6, 1944.

But he says he has been plagued by pain ever since and has worn a support corset since 1947.

No record of the incident, which happened in Croydon, can be found.

The Veterans Agency has told him there is no evidence his problems were caused by or aggravated by his military service.

The president of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal has refused him leave to appeal to the High Court and his only remaining option is to apply directly to the High Court.

Mr Carter, a retired electrician, says he has lost all hope of getting any recompense.

"They did not keep records in those days and so nobody made a note of what happened," he said.

"I went to a doctor and was given some tablets but I just had to carry on. As long as you could walk you had to go to Normandy. I wasn't even given a medical test when I was demobbed in 1947."

Mr Carter married a Belgian woman after the war and remained there until January this year, when she died.

He has now returned to his home town, where he lives in a sheltered housing complex.

Captain Ian Hammerton, secretary of the 22nd Dragoons Old Comrades Association, has tried to help Mr Carter get his pension.

He said: "It seems rather sad that he cannot get a war disablement pension when a lot of people who haven't suffered in the way he has will have had some recompense."