A taste of home as soldiers get a special delivery

REFRESHING Lance Bombardier Daniel Archer enjoys a brew at Camp Bastion
REFRESHING Lance Bombardier Daniel Archer enjoys a brew at Camp Bastion
HMS Duncan has returned to Portsmouth after spending three months in the Mediterranean Picture:  L/Phot Louise George

HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth after three months away at sea

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THERE’S nothing to lift the spirits like a good cup of tea.

So a tea-making entrepreneur from Portsmouth decided to send thousands of tea bags to thirsty soldiers in Afghanistan.

All About Tea, a tea merchant based in Middle Street, Southsea, sent out 4,000 free tea bags to Royal Artillery soldiers operating in the dusty warzone to bring a bit of a morale boost.

As reported in The News, Thorney Island-based 21 Air Assault Battery of 47 Regiment Royal Artillery is in Afghanistan supporting land forces with its eye-in-the-sky technology.

Major Jonathan Buxton said: ‘The relationship between the British Army and tea is centuries old, and we have even fought wars over it.

‘In the past, soldiers were issued with good quality loose-leaf tea, however today they are issued cheap tea bags full of tea dust.

‘While this does make a quick cup of tea, the quality is not always the best.

‘Luckily, the saviour of tea came to our rescue and has supplied us with enough quality tea to survive the rest of the tour.

‘Tea is essential in Afghanistan where even in the heat, dust, and with long demanding days, we are expected to be alert and ready to respond at a moment’s notice.’

All About Tea was founded by Andrew Gadsden, a resident of Portsmouth for 13 years after he joined the navy.

As reported in The News, the firm recently won an award at the Johnston Press South Business Awards.

Mr Gadsden said: ‘It’s no trouble for us to send it out to them. It’s satisfying to think you’re contributing in some small way to making life more pleasant for the soldiers who are out there putting themselves in harm’s way while we sit around at home, complaining about the trains and the weather.

‘Tea cools you down and refreshes you even better than water, so a nice cup of tea should help the soldiers in the heat and dust of Afghanistan.’

21 Air Assault Battery will return home to Thorney Island next month.

Lance-Bombardier Daniel Archer, 26, added: ‘It means a lot when people back home think of things like this.

‘When you’re out here there is only limited chance to talk to home, and things like this are a little slice of home.’