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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
Postage-free packages for troops
Parcels are key to maintaining morale, campaigners said
Postage is to be free for parcels sent to British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Royal Mail has announced.

"Royal Mail wants to see frontline troops get as much support as possible," said chairman Alan Leighton.

The move comes after the head of the Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, publicly appealed for Royal Mail to drop the charges.

He said he was now "delighted" by Royal Mail's support, which would mean "a great deal to soldiers and families".

'Loved ones'

"We all know how vitally important it is for frontline troops to get parcels from their loved ones at home," said Mr Leighton.

"We are now working with the British Forces Post Office to set up special arrangements for a free parcel service until Christmas."

Theresa Theobald, a mother whose son is serving in Afghanistan and who had been campaigning for free parcel deliveries to the troops, welcomed the news.

She said that she had spent more than 400 over the past six months on sending "goodies" such as food and toiletries from home.

"It is the only morale they have really. It brightens their day up when the post gets delivered to them," she said.

An announcement with further details of the free service, including when it will come into effect, is expected within the next few days.

The Royal Mail said it was reviewing how the free service might be maintained after Christmas.


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