THE first soldier has been posted at the new British Forces Post Office (BFPO) at RAF Northolt.

The "soldier" in question is the Letter from Home statue that has stood since July 1982 on the Inglis Barracks Officers' Mess lawn, when it was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The statue is of a First World War soldier reading a letter sent from home and is a replica of the bronze original, by sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger that stands at Paddington Station.

The original, called Letter from Home, was erected as a memorial to men and women of the Great Western Railway Company, who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. It is also an icon for the BFPO, showing the importance and morale boosting effect on HM Forces receiving news from their friends and loved ones, wherever they are deployed.

The British Forces Post Office will be completely relocating to the state-of-the-art facility at RAF Northolt at the end of September as part of a restructure by the Ministry of Defence.