Soldiers out serving in Afghanistan have been protected from the cold winter thanks to the efforts of a BUPA care home resident in Market Lavington.

Damaris Barrett, 84, who has two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, used to live in Pewsey, but moved into the home after suffering a fall last year.

Her daughter, Janet McClean, said: “She is really happy there. The staff are all great and she has particular encouragement from the two activity organisers and the manager, Debs Tinsley, to keep knitting.

“She has knitted all her life and, in her younger years, knitted fabulous cable and Fair Isle patterns. All the children in her life had lovely, hand-knitted sweaters.”

Mrs Tinsley suggested to Mrs Barrett she might like to knit scarves for her son, Angus, and his colleagues serving with the Royal Hussars in Afghanistan.

Mrs Tinsley said: “Some-one who heard Angus was in Afghanistan said how hot it must be out there. I said, actually, they find it very cold at this time of year.

“When I heard Damaris was a champion knitter, I suggested she might like to knit scarves for them and, within a few weeks, she had knitted 14.”

Mrs Tinsley sent the scarves out to the troops and Angus Tinsley sent a photo of himself and his colleagues wearing their new scarves.

He wrote to Mrs Barrett: “They are very much appreciated during this cold spell in Afghanistan.

“We are very grateful to all those who show us their support from back at home, but these wonderful scarves, which must have taken a huge amount of time to knit, really take the biscuit.

“Having someone willing to give so much of their time to support us in what we do makes the whole ordeal seem so much more worthwhile.”