FRIENDS and family of a marine veteran who died from cancer while battling the state over benefits have told of their dismay he was never given an apology.
Gordon Lang, who lived in Gosport, was in the middle of a fight with the Department for Work & Pensions after being told to work while unwell.
Mr Lang died from his illness on Monday and loved ones say the government should have said sorry to the war veteran for the way he was treated.
Close friend Richard Thomson said: ‘An amputee with severely restricted mobility, Gordon was put though a tick-box assessment to compel him to seek work after his disability benefit lifeline was cut.
‘He was compelled to turn up every few weeks to Jobcentre plus even if he wasn’t feeling well enough to attend and hounded with sanction threats if he didn’t comply.
‘He was treated monstrously by a system that didn’t recognise from the outset he was one of life’s strivers not skivers.
‘Even when it was finally recognised that he been unjustly treated and won his tribunal appeal, no apology was ever forthcoming.
‘This was no way to treat an old trouper who risked his life for his country in the Falklands conflict.’
Mr Thomson added: ‘Gordon faced certain death with characteristic stoicism and bravery.’
Gordon’s daughter Trudy Brown, 41, said: ‘As an individual he was treated unfairly.
‘He worked from the day he possibly could to the day he possibly couldn’t.
‘There should be some respect for people that have served.’
Gordon first appeared in The News after locking horns with the DWP when it told him to find work despite being an amputee.
The Shaw Trust then wrote to him saying it would help him find work when he was better – despite him informing them he had terminal lung cancer. The charity said it was never told.
Tenaciously, he took his case to tribunal and overturned the DWP’s assessment decision.
Gordon was born in Kilwinning, in North Ayrshire and joined the marines in 1969. He served tours of Northern Ireland and in the Falklands conflict.
All are welcome at his funeral at Portchester Crematorium on April 27 at 1pm.