A CLUB for war heroes and the serving armed forces has expressed its disgust and dismay after a raid by burglars.

The Royal British Legion Club in Station Approach, Marlow, was the target for thieves who grabbed between £700 and £900 in cash from fruit machines.

Club chairman Jeremy Jones spoke publicly for the first time this week about the crime which has rocked volunteers.

He told the Marlow Free Press: "We think this is a despicable act, to steal from what is effectively a charity.

"This is a place for ex-servicemen, people who've served their country to make it what it is today and to have things stolen like that is just as low as they come.

"We are community-based club and the legion being connected Poppy appeal speaks itself about what we do. We are all volunteers."

The cash was taken on December 30 around midnight, though police did not release details until late last week.

The club is waiting for news from insurers but has faced hefty financial blow in the meantime.

Mr Jones said: "It's a dismal start to the year. We've been through a difficult financial year last year, as most in the pub world have. People feel aggrieved, angry and perturbed and it's just a feeling of dismay about how someone goes and does that."

Anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously around the building, or who has any information about the burglary, should contact PC Andrew Hall on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

- THERE was better news for the charity arm of Marlow's Royal British Legion in the wake of the club burglary as it announced its poppy appeal may beat last year's total.

The appeal actually runs until September but so far it has been tallied up at £23, 398.32 - about £1,400 short of the previous year.

Chairman Shaun Murphy said he was hopeful in the remaining months the total could be beaten and said: "We are really pleased with this figure, and when you consider the relatively small population in Marlow it shows how generous the people have been."