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MILITARY FAMILIES SUPPORT WEBSITE CLOSURE FEAR

04-08-2007

The mother of a Birmingham soldier who died in Iraq has warned that the website and bereavement support service she runs for the families of fallen troops could close unless it receives urgent financial help.

Carol Jones - who lost her son John Jones in a roadside explosion in Basrah City - set up the Military Families Support Group with Sue Smith from Tamworth. Sue's lad Philip Hewett was also killed in Iraq.

Philip Hewett John Jones

Corporal Hewett RM Sergeant John Jones

Their aim is to provide help and advice to others who have suffered the same unfortunate experience - but because of the increasing death rate in both Iraq and Afghanistan they are finding themselves overwhelmed by the demand.

"At the moment there are two or three dying every week and I'm either on the phone or the mobile all the time.

"Carol does the visiting, but that can take her from one end of the country to another, and we're just ordinary mums.

"She recently went to see a mum in Beoley near Stratford, and there are other parents who want us to visit in Blackpool, and North Wales but it all takes money.

"We write letters to the mother of every fallen son and get them a specially made card, and we're there for them whenever they need us.

"We can understand their situation better than any Army welfare officer.

"We want to keep doing this, and in my case it's definitely helping me work through my bereavement, but it all costs money and we can't afford to just keep doing it on our own.

"It's getting to the stage now where if we don't get some help it will have to fold."

Carol relates how national newspapers use her website as a research tool, but when she asked The Sun for £200 donation to help keep it going they refused; similar requests to The Independent have also been rejected.

We're confident that Stirrer readers won't be so stingy - your editor is getting the ball rolling with £50, and we'd encourage you to do what you can.

Check out the Military Families Support Group website and if you agree that they're doing a valuable job, maybe you'll dip your hand in your pocket too.

There are details of how to donate on their site.

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