HAMPSHIRE soldiers swapped their guns for gardening tools to support an elderly former serviceman.

A team of more than 50 army personnel and cadets spent three days clearing 82-year-old Albie Bowles’ garden in Houghton.

By the time they had finished, the impromptu gardeners had filled two skips and needed 11 lorry trips to take foliage to the recycling centre.

They found old garden equipment, a motorcycle and a huge amount of wood that the pensioner had collected during his career as a wheelwright.