IN reply to Mrs Duckworth (Letters, September 29) and her criticism of the

mention of the parade of war veterans in my letter, I am sorry that Mrs.

Duckworth was upset by this, but perhaps she misunderstood my intention.

I must point out that I am one of those veterans. Fifty years on, I have not forgotten the many pals lost on those battlefields.

I joined the army in January, 1940. As an infantryman with the 8th Army I went from El Alamein to Tunis and on into Sicily, returning for Normandy and Europe, finally being demobbed in April, 1946. Later that year I married a young woman who was a member of the Belgian resistance, and really knows what war is all about. She is still with me.

I mentioned the victory parades because of the loyalty the people who fought in the war showed for this country and all the people in it.

In my opinion that loyalty has not been returned by those in power. Public honours do not really make up for private hardship.

The points I try to make are about what I see as deliberate unfairness caused by the Government, and some excess profit-driven businesses, which has divided the country in two.

There is more than plenty for the rich and less than enough for the poor.

When I hear of schemes which seem specifically designed to add to the burden of the old and poor, many of them war veterans, then I feel that I must protest.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.