We asked people all over the world to send us their messages of support for our troops. As DAVID LOWE reports, the response has been overwhelming.

MESSAGES of support for British troops in the Gulf have been flooding in to the Evening Press internet site.

Many Americans in particular are voicing their gratitude for UK backing in the conflict.

Dennis Bedard, from Jupiter, Florida, said: "Thank you so very much for all of your sacrifices for the good of our nation.

"We are looking forward to the successful completion of your mission and to you all returning home safely."

Closer to home, Anne, of York, said: "To all servicemen, please take comfort in the knowledge that more and more people are supporting this conflict to rid Iraq of Saddam."

There are emotional contributions too, left by the families of British soldiers.

Mr and Mrs G Suggitt, of West Sutton, Malton, left a message for their son.

"I would love to just tell him we are all missing him and love him a lot.

"We send all our best wishes to the rest of the lads for the good job they are doing."

Some have expressed frustration with the anti-war movement.

Sophia and Rich, of Falmouth, said: "Despite the selfish and ignorant protests of many people, you are so brave and our thoughts and best wishes are with you all."

Meanwhile, Mark Darley, of York, said: "The average man and woman in the street does not have time to protest - we're all working. That doesn't mean we're against the war.

"Mostly it is the unemployed, students and school children who are protesting - a small minority who ought to be ashamed of their cowardice."

Dallas Colley, of Greensburg, USA, submitted the wise words of British parliamentarian Edmund Burke.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Leave your own message on the Evening Press website at www.thisisyork.co.uk.

To see the full list of messages, just go to the website and click on "Read your messages to the troops."

The Evening Press is offering to set up a support group for the North Yorkshire relatives of servicemen out in the Gulf, some of whom say they feel isolated as they worry for the safety of their sons and daughters. The paper is prepared to host a meeting to launch such a group - if there is sufficient demand from parents and other relatives. Anyone interested should phone Mike Laycock on 01904 567132.

Updated: 10:31 Tuesday, April 01, 2003