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Military charities in the UK are reporting a huge increase in the number of struggling Gurkhas arriving in Britain for help following Joanna Lumley's campaign to win them residency last year.

The Gurkhas are part of a famous regiment of Nepalese soldiers that has fought for Britain since 1815, most recently in Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia. Although they have fought and died for Britain, a court ruling prior to Lumley’s campaign meant those who retired before 1997 had no automatic right to live in Britain. All other foreign soldiers in the British Army can settle in Britain after four years’ service anywhere in the world.

Col William Shuttlewood, director of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, said that there were some problems involving the numbers of the ex-soldiers and logistics, but the charities were working hard to resolve them. The trust will soon open a welfare centre in Salisbury for all Gurkhas in the UK to use.

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