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Virtual reality takes war vet to WW2 town

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 Martyn Landi

A Second World War veteran has revisited the French town he helped liberate by using virtual reality.

Frank Mouque, 91, was a corporal in the 263 Field Company of the British Royal Engineers that liberated the town of Armentieres from Nazi occupation.

Now a Pensioner, Mr Mouque was shown a virtual reality experience ahead of Remembrance Sunday that enabled him to see and hear from residents of the town without leaving his home, and to receive an official medal from the town's mayor.

The 360-degree film was created by a Manchester-based start-up and using Samsung's Gear VR headset.

"It's ingenious. It's like you're really there, standing in front of them," Mr Mouque said of the experience.

"On behalf of all the people who were (serving) with me, thank you."

During the film, Mr Mouque also encountered other residents of the town - who thanked him for his part in the liberation - and saw local school children sing a nursery rhyme.

The video, along with a second showing the veteran's reaction to the experience, has been posted to YouTube.

Twine chief executive Stuart Logan said of the project: "Virtual reality is a technology with almost limitless potential, but we wanted to look beyond thrills and entertainment and use it to achieve something truly profound."

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