The Sandbag Times Issue No:13


The Veterans Magazine

Army badges stolen from an SAS hero

hailed for his role in ending the Iranian

Embassy siege have been returned to his


The SAS and Parachute Regiment cap

badges belonged to John McAleese and

were stolen during a burglary at his

Hereford home.

Mr McAleese was part of the team which

helped end the six-day siege after a group

of six armed men stormed the embassy

in London in 1980 and took 26 people


The badges were found in a drug dealer's

car in 2010, but 62-year-old Mr

TWO faithful poppy fundraisers are handing over the poppy appeal to a ‘new team’ at the Grays Thurrock Royal British Legion.

Silvia and Peter Gaskin, who have been running the table in Grays Precinct for over 13 years, said it was “time for a new team to

take over.”

They will be familiar faces to all those that have passed the

poppy appeal stall outside WH Smith in Grays town centre the

last few years.

The Gaskins said: “We wish to thank all the loyal customers

who have supported the Poppy Appeal for Grays. We hope

the new team that replaces us will receive the same support

that we have.”

Chairman and Poppy Organiser, Ray Bridger also added his

thanks for all their help.

The 2014 Poppy Appeal raised the record-breaking amount of

over £51,216. Totals for the 2015 appeal have not yet been

released. .

Medals of SAS Hero returned to family

Grays Thurrock British Legion to get new poppy appeal team

McAleese died from a heart attack while

on holiday in Greece before they could

be returned to him.

However, a former Army colleague, PC

Alan Reeves from West Midlands

Police, helped to trace his family and

return them.

“We’re delighted to finally have the

badges back…I know it’s been a bit of a

mission of Alan’s to return them and

we’re extremely grateful for his time and

effort," his widow Joanna said.

The badges were very dear to John’s

heart and he was gutted to find they’d

been taken.”

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