I WOULD like to draw your attention to the plight of the many ex-servicemen from the Commonwealth — particularly those in Africa and the Indian sub-continent — who fought alongside us in the last war and are now suffering severe hardship.

Over five million from the Commonwealth volunteered to fight for a country they had never seen and a monarch they had only heard about.

They willingly surrendered their youth to help us fight for freedom — and now they need our help as age and infirmity take their toll and they are unable to fend for themselves in countries where there is no help from their own (or our) governments.

The British Commonwealth Ex-Services League (BCEL), of which I am a Council Member, is currently helping over 28,000 of these veterans with the basic necessities of life — food, shelter and medicine — and the number in need is likely to rise to over 120,000 in the next few years.

Hence the need for a major Appeal — The Jubilee Appeal for Commonwealth Veterans — which has been launched to raise £5million and which has been selected by the Palace as one of the six charities (and the only Commonwealth one) to benefit from the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

If any reader is involved with the planning of events in this jubilee year, it would be marvellous if this worthy cause could be included in any charitable donations that are made; and if anyone would personally like to help alleviate the distress of these old soldiers, who helped us in our time of need, they should send a donation to The Jubilee Appeal for Commonwealth Veterans, 20 Mortlake High Street, London SW14 8JN or through www.commonwealthveterans.org.uk.

Any help will be very much appreciated.

Patrick Mitford-Slade (Council Member BCEL), Borough Court Road, Hartley Wintney.