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Back Times' fight to help our boys

PUBLISHED: 17:56 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:59 23 August 2010

AS the death toll of British soldiers exceeds 200 in Afghanistan and injuries rise alarmingly, the need to raise money to support our injured heroes and bereaved families has never been greater, writes Martin Sawden. The Times is auctioning gifts from to

AS the death toll of British soldiers exceeds 200 in Afghanistan and injuries rise alarmingly, the need to raise money to support our injured heroes and bereaved families has never been greater, writes Martin Sawden.

The Times is auctioning gifts from today on the Royal British Legion's eBay site to raise money for respite centres that offer care to soldiers returning with horrific injuries from road side bombs, mortar attacks, gunfire and emotional stress through combat.

It will be added to funds raised from the Times Pedal 2 Paris 280-mile ride by reporter Martin Sawden on September 3 organised by the Legion.

Today the Times has launched its first charity lot - a family ticket, worth more than £85, to see smash hit musical Blood Brothers at The Churchill theatre, Bromley.

The winning bidder will win tickets for two adults and two children to see the 7.45pm performance of Willy Russell's Tony nominated musical on Bank Holiday Monday, August 31.

The ticket, for best stall seats, will also include a free glass of bubbly or soft drink and jazz entertainment at the Circle Terrace from 7pm.

To bid, go to To bid, go to www.donation.ebay.co.uk/charity/ charity.jsp?NP_ID

=11069. Lesley Alderton, from Eltham, lost her son, Jake just two days before. Remembrance Sunday in 2007. Jake was serving with the 36 Royal Engineers Regiment, based in Maidstone and would have been 24 last Sunday.

Mrs Alderton, 53, of Lady Smith Road, urged people to get behind the troops and said: "We see the soldiers coming back in coffins draped in the British flag, unfortunately Jake was one of those young men.

"But what you don't hear about are the ones coming back with horrific injuries. This summer has been horrendous for casualties. I think the British Legion is a very worthwhile cause.

"Whether you agree with the war or not, it doesn't matter, soldiers go where they are told, they need all the support we can give them."

To support Mrs Alderton's Help for Heroes in memory of Jake Alderton, an evening of entertainment is being held this Sunday at Sea View Holiday Park, Swalecliffe.

Orpington branch of the British Legion, based in Church Hill, held a minute's silence at its monthly meeting last Tuesday to remember the latest soldiers to die in war-torn Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence said 236 troops have been injured this year, already exceeding the number for the whole of 2008.

n Keep reading your Times for more charity lots to raise money for the British Legion.

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