The Eastbourne parents of a Lance Corporal who will be helping out overseas this Christmas in the wake of the Typhoon disaster in the Philippines have been well supported in their efforts to send out festive parcels to the troops.
Darren and Jackie Leigh’s 23-year-old son Matthew Reardon was aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious which was heading home when the tragedy took place. The ship was immediately re-directed to assist in the distribution of aid to the victims which means the crew will not now be home with their families for Christmas.
As Lance Corporal Matthew Reardon serves as a marine commando on the ship his parents struck on the idea of sending some gifts out to the Marines on board, including sweets and other goodies that can be shared. As members of the Polegate Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) they sought their assistance and were very pleased with the tremendous support they received, from the ladies section, branch and club members. In total more than 50kg was posted out on November 29 to ensure the gifts were received by Christmas.
Matthew said, “The boys and girls on board know they have an important job to do, but these little presents are a touching reminder of home and of the special time they will be missing at home with their wives, children and families.”
Mr Leigh praised the support of the RBL adding, “We’re very proud of Matthew. We would love to see him for Christmas but that’s not going to be the case. We’re yet to tell him he’s an uncle.”