An intrepid charity worker who was imprisoned in Burma while helping look after ex-soldiers has retired after 20 years.
But Sherry Scott, from Cuddington, has vowed to carry on helping people in the war-torn country, and will work with Nobel Prize-winning political leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a bid to end the country’s drugs problems.
Last week Vale MP John Bercow hosted a Westminster reception in honour of Sherry’s Burma Forces Welfare Association.
And for the first time she has been able to discuss the charity, which provides pensions for veterans who fought alongside our soldiers in the Second World War.
Sherry, 74, who received an MBE for her work, set up the charity with her late husband Lt Col Raymond Scott.
She said: “My ambition was to shake the hand and give a pension to every soldier that fought for Great Britain.
“It all comes down to putting the hope back in the soldiers’ eyes.
“They want to talk about what they did during the war to me and they want us to help their grandchildren.”
Sadly many of the soldiers have now died, but Sherry hopes projects to open an orphanage, hospital, drug rehabilitation centre, school, farm and dentist will ensure lasting good in the country.
She said: “On one trip we travelled by ox cart as far as a dilapidated church.
“There were three little boys and two very old nuns and when these little boys saw us they were so enthusiastic and showed us how they helped the nuns and what they grew. Even if we had given them money there were no shops.
“When we went to say goodbye I just saw the hope die in those little boys eyes.
“We knew that if we did nothing else we had to do something for those little boys.”
During Sherry’s annual trips she was forced to disguse herself by wearing contact lenses and adopting local dress. And on one visit she and her partner Phil Johnson, 73, were imprisoned in a filthy jail for around 11 days when their visas expired.
She said: “It seemed like an eternity. One evening one of the grandsons of the old soldiers came in without any shared language and demonstrated with his hands that our aeroplane was there. We just crept out.”