Praise for legion fundraisers

A GROUP of soldiers heaved a field gun from Bramford to Ipswich and pushed the money raised for the poppy appeal over its target.The Royal British Legion's annual appeal in Ipswich was given a £2,500 boost after the efforts of the Wattisham-based soldiers from the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME).

A GROUP of soldiers heaved a field gun from Bramford to Ipswich and pushed the money raised for the poppy appeal over its target.

The Royal British Legion's annual appeal in Ipswich was given a £2,500 boost after the efforts of the Wattisham-based soldiers from the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME).

Peter Thompson, the chairman of the Ipswich branch, who co-ordinated the poppy appeal, said the team, which lost a comrade in Iraq, hauled the gun to the Cornhill on November 1.

The money they collected from shoppers gave a record-breaking boost to the appeal.

He said: "Last year we raised £33,890 in Ipswich and this year so far we are up to £36,500 with more money to come, which is a terrific boost.

"The money from the soldiers definitely helped. I think we would have broken last year's record anyway but they certainly raised more than we could have done.

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"I think also this year, with the troubles in Iraq and the losses we have had, people have responded more, especially in Ipswich."

He said the money, which was presented to him at his house in Ipswich, would be spent on improving the welfare of present and ex-servicemen and servicewomen, as well as their families.

"We have seven British Legion homes and they all have to be updated under a government ruling so they have en suite toilets and unisex facilities.

"The money is all counted by hand and letters are sent out to all the collectors to tell them what they have done. This all comes out of poppy appeal money, as we do not claim for any expenses at all and it is all done voluntarily.

"I feel very proud of the money we have raised in only about 12 or 13 days."

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