Last call to honour Great War heroes

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A final rallying call has gone out to the people of Belper to back our appeal to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with a lasting memorial in the town.

As commemorations to mark the anniversary of Britain joining the war began in earnest this week, across the town our Pennies For Our Heroes campaign, in conjunction with Belper’s Royal British Legion, has reached £305.

Now, the legion is urging people to dig deep for one final push to help us reach the target of £500 before the end of September. That would fund a tree and plaque in the Memorial Gardens.

Local events have shown the commitment to commemorating the landmark anniversary. More than 250 people turned out for an outdoor service in the Market Place at the weekend and the re-creation of a temporary memorial, which stood in the town from 1919 to 1921.

The huge WWI poppy tribute on The Chevin was also blessed and a service was held in St Peter’s Church.

Over the next four years, the legion and Belper Town Council will lower the Union Flag in the Memorial Gardens to half-mast on each of the days that a Belper serviceman died in the ‘Great War’.

Our tribute would be unveiled in the gardens on November 11 as part of the Remembrance Day service if we can reach our total in time.

Nigel Winn, of Belper’s Royal British Legion, said: “This has been a fantastic initiative and has worked well in getting the town involved to commemorate the First World War.

“Over the weekend the town responded brilliantly to all the events that were held.

“It would be superb if we could have a final push now so that we can plant a tree with pride in the gardens.”

We are asking Belper News readers to donate their spare change – the pennies you often collect in jam jars or pots around the house – so we can plant a tree in the town in honour of our war heroes.

We know times are hard and that’s why we are asking only for your spare change. And if we all donate a bit of copper we believe we can raise enough money to buy a tree, which will serve as a permanent reminder to our brave service personnel.

Drop-off your donations at the Royal British Legion on Strutt Street.