British vote campaigner and war veteran in Italy Harry Shindler awarded OBE

Shindler named in Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Harry Shindler, a world war two veteran and long-term resident of Italy, has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to British nationals overseas.

A veteran of the Battle of Anzio and the liberation of Rome, Shindler has lived in Italy for almost 40 years and is a longstanding campaigner for rights of Britons abroad.

For the last two decades Shindler has spearheaded a battle to secure voting rights for foreign-based British citizens who, under the current system, lose their right to vote in British elections after living outside the UK for more than 15 years.

In May the UK government announced plans to scrap the 15-year limit on casting ballots from abroad, paving the way for British expats to vote in future general elections for life.

This week Britain's ambassador to Italy Jill Morris took to Twitter to congratulate Shindler on his OBE, hailing him as "an inspirational figure: veteran of allied landings at Anzio in WWII and champion over many years for the right to vote for British nationals abroad."

Shindler, who turns 100 in July, receives the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) seven years after he was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) at a ceremony in Rome.

Born in 1921, Shindler has lived in Italy since 1982, founding the Association of British Ex-Pats in Italy and working for the Italy Star Association which organises and participates in the annual Anzio landing commemorations.

In a statement the British government said 129 people were being recognised for "exceptional service to the UK overseas or internationally."

Image: Harry Shindler receives MBE at Villa Wolkonsky on 19 February 2014.