Remembrance Day: Dagenham veteran wants better mental health care for servicemen

The Dagenham Girl Pipers lead this morning's Remebrance Sunday march through Dagenham.

The Dagenham Girl Pipers lead this morning's Remebrance Sunday march through Dagenham. - Credit: Archant

As people stopped to pay respects to the war dead from conflicts across the world today, one former soldier is wants others to remember us that war doesn’t just hurt people physically.

David Turner spent eight years in the army, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan

David Turner spent eight years in the army, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan - Credit: Archant

David Turner, 31, of Church Elm Lane, joined the army aged 16 and spent eight years serving in Irag and Afghanistan with the Royal Anglian regiment.

Now working as a lorry-driver, he believes more should be done to help those struggling with the psychological wounds of battle.

He said: “It’s great that so much help is given to injured soldiers who may have lost an arm or a leg for example, but mental health is a taboo subject, and much more needs to be done to help those with psychological scars.

“The government needs to offer more in the way of after-care packages because both current and ex-servicemen can really suffer.

President of Dagenham's Royal British Legion branch 81-year-old Ron Murphy (centre).

President of Dagenham's Royal British Legion branch 81-year-old Ron Murphy (centre). - Credit: Archant


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“They don’t seem to do anything at the moment.”

With this year’s Remembrance Day commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, much emphasis has been placed on the 1914-18 fighting.

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But president of the Dagenham Royal British Legion branch Ron Murphy hopes more mentions can be made of other major conflicts of the 20th century.

The 81-year-old spent two years serving in Egypt, Germany and Korea, but relatively little is known about British involvement in either country post-1945.

“It’s hugely important to remember them of course, but with all the emphasis on the first and second World Wars there’s a danger that the conflicts since then are forgotten about,” he said.

“We lost thousands of men in Korea, but hardly anyone knows anything about that war.

“We must all make sure we are remembering those who have served in all conflicts.”

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