Britain has heart : SSAFA

#1
Britain has heart

SIR – On behalf of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association in Hampshire may I thank your staff and readers for the most moving and generous response to the former Japanese PoW brought to your attention by John Oakley (Letters, May 11).

We have received several thousand pounds in donations. This will enable us to double-glaze all his windows to help keep out the cold. The whole episode was a credit to the British public.

Bryan Wilson
Dibden Purlieu, Hampshire
Telegraph Letters

There was incredulity at the newly revealed secret world inhabited by MPs who took taxpayers’ money for luxuries and new kitchens, but refused it for the Royal Yacht or equipment for soldiers in war zones.

A lesson in realism came from John Oakley, who works with the charity Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association. His letter brought offers of help from dozens of readers, because he told the story of a very old man, once a prisoner of the Japanese, who needed £500 to double-glaze his bathroom, so that he could take a bath in warmth. The money was not there to give him.

“Telling him was very hard,” Mr Oakley wrote, “but his reaction – that life was tougher on the railway and that I was not to worry – left me weeping. Now I read of the chocolate bars, bath plugs and horse manure claimed in expenses by our MPs, and I weep again.”
Telegraph Comment

SIR – I work for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association and, like many elderly colleagues, claim no expenses, regarding it as voluntary work.

I recently failed to get financial assistance for a very old PoW who had spent four years being made to work by the Japanese on the dreaded railway and simply wished for £500 to enable him to double-glaze his bathroom so he could enjoy a warm bath. Telling him was very hard, but his reaction that life was tougher on the railway, and that I was not to worry, left me weeping.

Now I read of the chocolate bars, bath plugs and horse manure claimed on expenses by our MPs and I weep again.

John Oakley
Chandlers Ford, Hampshire
Letter
 
#3
I hope the spongers, sorry fiddling MP's have read this and realise how the public feel and that if an elderly former POW cannot get a mere £500.00 for a window, get a grip of reality!

stilts
 

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