Gurkha's thanks for magic boxes

A GENEROUS woman who has sent thousands of goody boxes to brave troops in Afghanistan today told of her pride after she was thanked in person by a grateful Gurkha soldier.

A GENEROUS woman who has sent thousands of goody boxes to brave troops in Afghanistan today told of her pride after she was thanked in person by a grateful Gurkha soldier.

Sally Brame, assisted by former work pal Jayne Smith, has been posting the parcels for more than 18 months, providing servicemen and women with a vital morale boost.

But Mrs Brame was shocked when Gurkha Jabin Rai travelled to Ipswich from his base in Dover to personally express his gratitude for her fantastic efforts.

She said: “Jabin wanted to meet and show his respect.

“He came to Ipswich laden with presents for us. He was such a humble, courteous lad.

“Jabin described the parcels as magic boxes and he said he had always wanted to thank me.

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“He said I wouldn't believe the difference it made to those on the frontline.”

The plight of Gurkhas has been in the national headlines recently after the government's proposed new set of criteria over when the Nepalese soldiers could settle in the UK was voted down by MPs.

Gurkhas who retired from the Army after 1997 can settle in Britain, but older veterans cannot, a position that the High Court has said is illegal.

Their cause has been taken up by actress Joanna Lumley, whose father Captain James Lumley was rescued from Japanese machine gunners by Gurkha Bahadar Pun in 1944.

Mrs Brame said: “I was quite ashamed to be British when I met Jabin because the way they have been treated is appalling.

“I was so humbled he had made the effort to come to thank me.

“I want people to know how proud I am to support the Gurkhas.”

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DESPITE having already sent more than 3,200 boxes to troops, Mrs Brame is determined to carry on providing soldiers with the parcels.

She thanked the public for their support and urged people to continue donating items.

Mrs Brame said: “I would like to thank everybody for the support they have shown but I want their continued support.

“It's so important to the soldiers that they know we are thinking of them.”

Those wishing to donate items for the boxes - which can contain anything from shower gel to boiled sweets - should no longer hand them in at Jayne's Florist in Bramford Road following the store's closure.

Instead, people are asked to call Mrs Brame on 01473 241126 or 07955 375898. Alternatively, items can be delivered to her home at 31 Brookfield Road, Ipswich, although it is advisable to call first.

Gurkhas have been part of the British Army for almost 200 years

Their motto is “better to die than be a coward"

They still carry into battle their traditional weapon - an 18-inch long curved knife known as the kukri

The potential of these warriors was first realised by the British at the height of their empire-building in the last century

More than 200,000 fought in the two world wars and in the past 50 years, they have served in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Borneo, Cyprus, the Falklands, Kosovo and now in Iraq and Afghanistan

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