Army veteran publishes collection of poems written by servicemen and families


A British Army Veteran has published a book of poetry written by veterans, serving military personnel and their families to raise money for charity.

Gina Allsop, 45, a veteran of Royal Signals from Brighton, will donate profits from her book Military Memories to a number of military charities, including the armed forces charity SSAFA, which supported her during a “difficult time”.

The book features poems by thirty poets with military ties and even includes contributions from ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly and radio presenter Joe Carden.

Ms Allsop was cycling when she was run over in a hit and run that left her at A&E, with her bike destroyed. (SSAFA / AP)

Ms Allsop said: “The poems illustrate the journey of those who join the armed forces, showing a lighter side of our families’ lives and the trauma we sometimes face.

“A path taken by many, told by so few. It’s a lifetime of memories shared in a little book.

Last year Ms Allsop was cycling through Liverpool when she was run over in a hit-and-run which left her at A&E with her bike destroyed.

His bicycle had been a “coping mechanism” while caring for his terminally ill brother Spencer, who died of cancer the day after his accident.

“You feel a little helpless when you lose a family member, and my escape was to ride a bike on a bike,” she said.

“When I hadn’t had it for those few weeks, I felt like my legs had been cut, I didn’t have an outlet. “

SSAFA supported Ms Allsop after the accident and found funds to provide her with a new bicycle.

The armed forces charity SSAFA supported Ms Allsop after the accident and found funds to provide her with a new bicycle. (SSAFA / AP)

Since then Ms Allsop has taken on a fundraising cycling challenge where she raised over £ 10,000 to run an art therapy class for a cancer charity and is now launching her book of poetry to help members of the armed forces community.

The poetry book was also inspired by his brother’s funeral last year which was broadcast live online after Covid restrictions meant only 10 people could attend.

“My poem was heard by a cancer hospice and they asked me to record my poem for other virtual funerals so that it could be performed for them,” Ms. Allsop said.

“It inspired me to create this book of poetry and allow more people to read other people’s work.”

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