A HAMPSHIRE army veteran died the day before his 89th birthday after decades of asbestos exposure, an inquest heard.
Former scaffolder Henry Hurl, of Adams Road, Hythe, was killed by pneumonia in August.
The Winchester inquest heard he was exposed to toxic asbestos every day at Fawley Oil Refinery, where he worked between the mid-1950s and 1991.
He put up scaffolding near asbestos-lagged pipes for contractors, the hearing on Thursday (Dec 17) was told.
Mr Hurl also smoked for around 25 years from his early teens, which the inquest ruled was likely to increase his chances of cancer.
A stepfather of three and widower of Miriam Hurl, he served in Egypt and Palestine between 1944 and 1947 in the 47th Dragoon Guards.
He was admitted to Southampton General Hospital with respiratory failure and died on August 25.
A post-mortem found his death was caused by bronchopneumonia, bronchogenic carcinoma, asbestosis and asbestos exposure. Heart disease also contributed, the inquest heard.
Senior central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of death by industrial disease.