The last surviving Cornishman to serve in the Palestine Police Force - the colonial service responsible for security in Palestine between 1920 and 1948 - has travelled to London for Remembrance.

Peter Coles, 88, visited Westminster on November 8 to meet Prince Harry at the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance, where he was the force's representative for 2017.

Mr Coles joined the force as soon as he turned 18, having been a member of the Boy Clerks in Saltash and then deciding he was too short to join the Cornwall County Constabulary.

He said: "As soon as I saw the Palestine Police I decided that was for me."

He served in Palestine for two years, from 1947 until the force disbanded in 1948, starting in headquarters in Jerusalem where he was working in the traffic division, before training as a mounted policeman and being posted to Khan Yunis, near Gaza.

He said: "It was a great life. The biggest regret I had was I had to leave my horse behind.

"I remember the day before I left Khan Yunis, I saddled up and rode down to the beach and gave him his last swim. He loved going to the beach and swimming.

"I went on my own, I wasn't particularly worried about what happened to me: the locals knew me.

"The mounted men were much more accepted by the population: we went around the villages, we ate with them, slept nearby, whereas the foot patrols were just policemen walking around. They didn't get involved a lot with the population.

"Towards the end when things were dying down out there, getting ready to go home, the foot patrols weren't allowed down into the village. They were hostile. But the mounted men could ride down to the village and have a coffee, they accepted us."

He added: "I was ambushed quite a few times.. in Jerusalem, and had a shoot out in Haifa once.

"It was an interesting life. I have directed traffic in the middle of Jerusalem, including Cadillacs and camels, donkeys and people on horseback. There was all sorts going on in the country in those days."

After leaving Palestine in 1948, Mr Coles came to Falmouth, where he later served as a whole time firefighter for 30 years, until he retired in 1984.

These days he is the only living member of the force in Cornwall, having been the youngest to depart in 1948, although at one time he said there were "a dozen."

He said: "I was allowed to keep the Palestine Police flag, and it went on coffins, so now it will go on mine. That's the end of it.

"There aren't many left in the country, maybe a couple of hundred of the old force."

He was chosen to represent the force at the Field of Remembrance, where each unit of the armed forces - of which the Palestine Police was considered to be a part - is only allowed one member each year during ceremonial occasions.

Speaking of meeting Prince Harry, he said: "He's a very, very nice chap. He said we did a grand job out there in Palestine."