Golden gifts for Anglian appeal

Golden wedding couple Maurice and Anne Gent are asking well-wishers to donate to the Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund instead of showering them with gifts after their grandson returned safely home from a gruelling tour of Helmand province.

Golden wedding couple Maurice and Anne Gent are asking well-wishers to donate to the Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund instead of showering them with gifts after their grandson returned safely home from a gruelling tour of Helmand province.

Sniper Private Daniel Gent, 22, served with the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment during the summer and tragically saw close comrades killed in action and others badly injured.

His grandfather Maurice from Denver near Downham Market said: “We are grateful that Daniel has come home safely but we recognise that some of the Anglians aren't coming home and some that are have suffered wounds and injuries.

“We feel that the least we can do instead of having gifts is to encourage people to give donations to the fund.”

The couple will hold a lunch and celebration party at Denver Village Hall on November 18 - two days after their golden anniversary - and will have a donation box as well as envelopes for specific donations to the fund.

The 1 Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund, which is backed by the EDP, is to build a lasting memorial to members of the battalion killed during the conflict but also to help those who have been injured be rehabilitated back into the military.

Most Read

So far, more than £40,000 has been raised towards the £100,000 target.

Retired factory manager Mr Gent, 72, said: “I think the soldiers have done a marvellous job out there. We are very proud of Daniel for what he has achieved.

“But we know it is a difficult time and that soldiers are getting killed. Every time we heard on the news that a soldier had died in Afghanistan, we were worried and we feel for those families that have lost sons out there.

“We are lucky to have our grandson back safely.

“But I think the memorial is very important, it is a grand idea, and that is why we want to contribute to it and also to help those who have come back injured.”

Flags and decorations have been put up at the Gent household in Denver in honour of their soldier grandson who is set to be guest of honour at the golden wedding party next months.

t The appeal fund has attracted wide interest with events already held and more planned. If you are staging a fund-raising event for the appeal or want to tell us about why you have made a donation, contact Mark Nicholls, EDP defence writer on 01603 772422 or by e-mail at mark.nicholls@archant.co.uk.

t To read previous reports from Mark Nicholls in Afghanistan, visit www.edp24.co.uk

THE FUND

The 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian regiment has set up a memorial fund to honour those killed and injured during the conflict. It will also help fund a permanent memorial, raise money for the affected families and support those who have been injured in a way that will help them resume their military careers.

Anyone wanting to give to the 1 R Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund can make cheques payable to CB 1 R Anglian and send them to Major R C Barrett, Treasurer, 1 R Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Barracks, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0DT.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter