Hard-up ex-soldier’s admiration for Legion

NBENBE111107e1, Kilburn man John Good recieved help from the RBL.
NBENBE111107e1, Kilburn man John Good recieved help from the RBL.

AN EX-soldier from Kilburn has praised the “absolutely fantastic” Royal British Legion and urged people to back the Poppy Appeal.

On the eve of Remembrance Day, John Good has thanked the Legion for the help the organisation has given him.

The ex-Grenadier Guard, who completed tours of Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Germany and Kenya during five-and-a-half years in the Army until 1980, has been aided by the Legion since breaking his ankle in May.

Mr Good, 52, of Woodhouse Road, has been barely existing on £64 per week benefits. He was even accepting food handouts from neighbours.

“The Legion has given me so much,” he said. “When I got out of hospital in June they gave me food vouchers to keep me ticking over.”

But, because of his injury, Mr Good, was unable to work and found himself in debt.

He said: “The Legion has paid my bills — my electric bill, water rates, TV licence. I have received vouchers for new clothes, a kettle and a Hoover. They have been absolutely fantastic.”

Mr Good’s downward spiral started when he broke his ankle while in Devon searching for work. He stepped off a two-foot high wall and turned his ankle over, shattering it in two places. He still can’t walk properly.

While recovering, Mr Good bumped into an old army friend in the Hunters Arms in Kilburn. He suggested ringing the Legion.

Mr Good said: “I thought the Legion was for ex-soldiers older than me or the young lads who are involved now. Some of them have been in proper wars.

“But they helped me out. If it was not for the Legion I would be in proper trouble.”

The Legion has also been helping a former soldier from Mansfield called Ashley Clarkson, who works at a wood yard. In doing so, a link has been formed between Mr Good and Mr Clarkson.

Now, Mr Clarkson has arranged for two tonnes of free wood to be delivered to Mr Good so he can heat his home throughout winter.

“I have got no heating in the house,” said Mr Good.

Speaking about the Poppy Appeal, which raises money for the Legion, Mr Good said: “For me it has always been important. It is the only charity I give to. Without the Legion no-one else is going to help us out. That is the bottom line. I feel humbled because they have been so good.

“I have a job standing up for any length of time now, but I recently spent eight hours stood up at Derby bus station giving out poppies.”

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