Parents' plea for soldier help

SUFFOLK people were today urged to get behind our troops - and send them shoeboxes of necessities and life's little luxuries.Ron and Liz Cartwright, whose son Matt, 33, has just been sent out to Afghanistan, say the soldiers are urgently in need of a number of items.

By Richard Cornwell

SUFFOLK people were today urged to get behind our troops - and send them shoeboxes of necessities and life's little luxuries.

Ron and Liz Cartwright, whose son Matt, 33, has just been sent out to Afghanistan, say the soldiers are urgently in need of a number of items.

“There are so many basic things they just don't have. We first knew about the problem when we had an SOS from Matt saying he needed a sewing kit - and it turned out they were desperate for many things we take for granted,” said Mrs Cartwright, 63, of High Road West, Felixstowe.

Her son, a guardsman with the Coldstream Guards, based at Victoria Barracks, Windsor, has just said farewell to his wife Donna and three-year-old son Lewis. His brother-in-law Lee Greenhill has also been sent to Afghanistan but as they are very close friends, they are being kept separate.

“The soldiers cannot just pop to Tesco when they need things, like we can,” said Mrs Cartwright.

Most Read

“We need to support them in any way we can.

“We are not having Christmas presents this year and have asked everyone to spend the money on the boys instead because their need is greater than ours.”

The shoeboxes should contain items such as:

sewing kits

rehydration salts for diarrhoea and sickness

paperback books

wet wipes because of lack of running water and no toilets

paracetomol and painkillers

toothbrushes and toothpaste

notebooks, pens and pencils

chocolates and sweets

cup-a-soups / noodles / drink sachets

energy tablets / cold treatments

“It's very hard when your son goes off to Afghanistan - I was a nervous wreck last week and I couldn't stop watching all the news on TV,” said Mrs Cartwright.

“It horrifies me to think of what they are all going through. It is not easy.”

She said that on a recent visit home her son went round Felixstowe cemetery to choose where he wanted to be buried if the worst should happen.

“Both Matt and Lee are happy to give their lives for their country if that should ever become necessary - they accepted that when they joined up and have always understood that,” she said.

Mr Cartwright, 68, who served in the RAF in the 1960s, said: “The terrain will not be easy at all. This is not a war like people understand wars.”

Mr and Mrs Cartwright are hoping people all over the county will contribute shoeboxes to the appeal - people should contact them on 01394 211438 or brightstar63@ntlworld.com and collection can be arranged.

If you want to send your messages of support to our troops, visit www.eveningstar.co.uk/blueys

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter