Troop memorial fund passes half-way mark

MARK NICHOLLS A growing number of events are being held to raise funds to build a permanent memorial to Royal Anglian troops killed in Afghanistan.

MARK NICHOLLS

A growing number of events are being held to raise funds to build a permanent memorial to Royal Anglian troops killed in Afghanistan.

To date, £52,000 has been raised towards the £100,000 target of the EDP-backed appeal but the drive is on to reach the total by Christmas.

Donations have flooded in from individuals and groups, while others are planning fundraising activities in the coming weeks.

In Dereham, a sponsored pub crawl has been organised for November 10 by Phil Robin-son, whose son Captain David Robinson returned home on Tuesday after serving with the 1st battalion's B Company in Helmand province.

Details of a cabaret-style evening at The Talk, Oak Street, Norwich, have been confirmed for the evening of November 9 with acts including comedian Tim Lane, local band Lick The Dice, illusionist Sean Alexander, Splits Elite Dancers and The Rock JD Show which is a Robbie Williams Tribute.

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Organiser Tony Calver said there would be an auction with "money-can't-buy" items up for grabs and he hopes to raise £5,000-£10,000.

Tickets are £12.50 from 01603 870044 or via www.coolasice. co.uk from Friday.

As well as the memorial - to be sited in East Anglia - funds from the 1 Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Appeal will also be used to boost the rehabilitation available to wounded soldiers so they can resume their army careers.

While much of the recovery is funded by the military, what the additional funding will do is provide treatment that will make the critical difference such as providing troops who have lost limbs with the latest technology in replacement false limbs.

Later, on November 22, the 1st battalion will march through the centre of Norwich to exercise is rights in the Freedom of the City parade, which will also be a chance for the people of Norfolk to welcome the troops home.

The pub darts team from the Buck at Rumburgh near Halesworth has raised more than £150 for the fund.

The team holds a raffle at every match and decided to donate the proceeds to the fund. A collection in the pub boosted that to £66 and the landlord and landlady, Gary and Kate Cornthwaite, added £85 to take the total to £151.

Darts player Ian Panter's son Sergeant Simon Panter has just returned from the six-month tour of Afghanistan with A Company of the regiment's 1st battalion.

The Earl of Bigod Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes at Bungay has also donated £50 to the fund.

If you are staging a fund-raising event for the appeal, or want to tell us about your donation, call Mark Nicholls, EDP defence correspondent, on 01603 772422 or by e-mail at mark.nicholls@archant.co.uk.

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

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