A WAR hero who served in the Coventry Blitz and was held prisoner in a Japanese war camp has died at the age of 97.

Robert Charles Griffin O.B.E, born in Hinton on the Green on January 18, 1922 served as a roof spotter in Coventry during the raid which lasted over 10 hours. 18 at the time, he received commendation for his bravery. A document from that time states: "He stuck to his point the whole time until the fire station close by was completely demolished. By his courage in remaining at his post under most difficult and dangerous conditions, the information he passed on to the Works Fire Brigade enabled them to combat incendiary's and thereby prevented serious damage to the works."

Mr Griffin spent three years in Changi prison. He had been sent to Singapore to fight the Japanese and in 1942 he was taken prisoner along with 80,000 other soldiers. He was severely wounded. Luckily for Mr Griffin, known as Bob, the Kings physician Sir Julian Taylor was a fellow inmate. Sir Julian performed surgery in extreme conditions which saved Mr Griffin's life.

His Granddaughter Emma Dorey said: "He was about 11 1/2 Stone when he was captured, and was just over 6 when he was released. He had just a cup of water and a cup of rice every day. They had to get up at ungodly hours and march around."

Mr Griffin was involved in building what became an airport in Changi, used by prison officers. When the war ended he was still held prisoner for a couple of months until he was released.

Mr Griffin featured in a history documentary on Splash TV along with other veterans.

When he came home he was taken to Evesham Hospital, Waterside which was a military hospital at the time. He married at Port Street Registry Office in 1972, his wife Vera already had 7 children. Miss Dorey said: "He married my nan the same day my mum married my dad, they all got married together." Mr Griffin had 14 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and 1 great great granddaughter.