Eddie Aldridge of Elm Park gets locks lopped for Poppy Appeal and Operation Shoebox

An Elm Park veteran got a chop for charity on Sunday – netting �430 for the Poppy Appeal and Operation Shoebox.

Eddie Aldridge, who has now raised more than �2,000 for war charities through sponsored snips at the Royal British Legion, Maylands Avenue, had been growing his hair since November 2010. The 69-year-old was taken ill with bowel cancer last year before suffering a stroke that left him in a wheelchair.

Mr Aldridge said: “This is the longest I’ve gone without having my hair cut. I normally have it done on Remembrance Sunday, but I’d only come out of hospital the day before.

“It was inadvisable to get a second dose of pneumonia,” he explained.

Mr Aldridge, who served in the Welsh Regiment in the late 1950s, said he signed up because the barracks was at the bottom of his garden in Cardiff. “I said, ‘I can come home every night,’” he laughed. “They said, ‘no, you can’t,’ and sent me to Abergavenny.”

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Operation Shoebox was set up in 2005 and sends shoeboxes of gifts to British troops in Afghanistan. “They send things like pens, pencils, razors and wet wipes,” said Mr Aldridge. “In the summer, it’s hot and sweaty, and the wipes are very welcome.”

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