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Your stories of the First World War

Next Monday world leaders will join relatives of soldiers at commemorations events marking 100 years since the start of the First World War.

As part of our coverage building up to the international events we've been asking you for your stories. Julian Kemp from Claverham near Bristol got in touch to tell us about his Great Uncle Bill who fought in the battle of Mons in 1914 and was part of the famous retreat. He was then redeployed and was caught up in some of the first gas attacks of the war. Here's his story.


1 in 3 in South West struggling for food

Picture of  food bank as 1 in 3 people in the south west struggle for food
1/3 people in South West struggling for food Credit: ITV News West Country

Almost a third of people in the South West are struggling to afford food. That's according to a report by a debt management company. The findings will be officially announced as part of a debt summit in Bristol today. They say an increase in the cost of living and energy bills are to blame.

Police say charity collector alerted police to Copeland

Christopher Copeland from Devon has been told he faces a long prison sentence after defrauding the charity Help for Heroes out of £300,000. DCI Mike Robison from Devon and Cornwall Police spoke to ITV Westcountry outside court today and told us it was one of the charity collectors Copeland was using that became alerted the police.

"He used a lot of charity collectors who went all over the country using military vehicles that were liveried with the Heroes livery on them. And the public, seeing these types of vehicles, would have quite legitimately given their money believing it was going to the charity when actually it didn't."

– DCI Mike Robison


Man pleads guilty to stealing £300,000 from Wiltshire charity

Christopher Copeland
Christopher Copeland Credit: Irving of Exeter

A man has been told he faces a long jail sentence after defrauding the Wiltshire-based charity Help for Heroes out of £300,000.

Garage owner Christopher Copeland organised charity supermarket collections with teams of volunteers, but failed to give the money to the charity.

The 51-year-old pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced on 15th September.

Swindon cyclist attacked by badger

Swindon cyclist attacked by badger
Swindon cyclist attacked by badger Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

A cyclist in Swindon has told police he was attacked by a badger. North Swindon police reacted light-heartedly, posting a tongue-in-cheek incident report on their Facebook page.

One of our more unusual reports in the last week has been from someone who had a close shave with a bristly character in North Swindon.

A cyclist was riding on the path by Thamesdown Drive near Redhouse at night when an aggressive badger rushed out of the undergrowth and attacked him on his bike. The shaken rider escaped by a whisker from this black and white case of assault – pretty paw behaviour indeed.

In all seriousness badgers can be territorial, bold and very hostile, so do be wary if you come across one at night and give it a wide berth. Meanwhile if you’ve been ‘sett upon’ or badgered by this offender let us know.

– North Swindon Police
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