FULL support for our British troops - that was the message from shoppers in Parliament Street, York.

Some told the Evening Press they felt it was time Saddam Hussein's regime was quashed and supported military action in Iraq, while others deplored the violence and tragedy of war.

But everyone offered their full support to the men and women fighting for their country and expressed the hope that they would return home safely.

Vicky Belton, 33, of Acomb, said: "I didn't want the war to start, but now that it's all kicked off I'm backing our boys. I hope they all come home safely."

Bill Bearpark, 62, of Holgate, does not want a war, but believes Saddam must be dealt with. He said: "I just wish he had been taken out 12 years ago. I'm not really supportive of the war - but I've got a lot of support for our boys."

Ben McBreen, 25, of Blossom Street, York, said: "I don't support it, but I do feel that he has to be dealt with and the regime that he runs has to be stopped. All the human casualties and loss of lives - the sooner he's dealt with the better. I think the government was under the illusion that it was going to be a quick war, but I think it's going to be a long-drawn-out process."

Charles Johnson, 78, of Osbaldwick, said: "I've thought all along somebody has to stop him."

His wife, Muriel, also 78, said: "I support the troops, but don't think that war is right.

Emily Parsons, 88, of Walmgate, York, said she was concerned about media coverage of the war. She said: "I don't like the way television programmes document war coverage. It's just like watching a soap."

Joan White, 77, of Leeman Road, York, said: "I quite agree with it. I don't like war, but I think we're doing the right thing. I think we will succeed, but it'll be harder than we thought."

Wendy Hall, 63, of Bishopthorpe, was strongly against war. She said: "It's really sad. But we can't really do a lot to stop it, can we?"

Margery Cooper, 77, of Fulford, said: "I support the war very strongly. Saddam has killed lots of innocent people. He should be stopped."

Josie Draper, 60, who lives off Hull Road, York, said: "I think we did the right thing going in, but I don't like the idea of people being killed. It's turning out to be harder than we thought it was going to be."

o Support for the war is continuing to grow among British voters. A YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph found 59 per cent in favour when questioned yesterday, up from 56 per cent on March 23 and 50 per cent on March 18.