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Final fundraising push for Durham Light Infantry
Updated 1:59pm Monday 30th June 2014 in News
DLI memorial appeal co-ordinator with maquette of statue to be placed in Durham City's Market Place. Picture by Gavin Engelbrecht (6085518)
VETERANS behind a memorial to the men who served in the Durham Light Infantry have made an appeal for contributions toward the last of the cash needed to make it a reality.
Campaigners have secured planning permission for the memorial front of the Town Hall in the Market Place, in Durham City and need about £20,000 to reach their target, as the unveiling date approaches.
The larger-than-life bronze will symbolise the moment a platoon of DLI soldiers sounded the ceasefire in Korea in 1953 from a hilltop on the frontline – the regiment's last battle honour.
It mirrors one unveiled at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire in July 2012.
DLI Memorial appeal co-ordinator, Colonel Arthur Charlton, said: “The dedication of the memorial on September 14 is just over two months away and we still need some funds to cover all the costs associated with the statue.
“We have raised £52,000 and are looking to hit £75,000. The bronze has been cast and now money is needed essentially for the plinth and erection costs.
“We need to have a good final push and would be grateful for any contributions from members of the public.”
He added: “Because final planning permission was only granted in May, fundraising could not forge ahead before then, in case there were any hitches with the project.
“This has resulted in time being of the essence.”
Col Charlton said: “Quite a number of people have contributed for a second time.
“There have also had a number of anonymous donations we have been unable to acknowledge and would like to thank the donors."
An appeal for the original memorial was launched after two ex-DLI soldiers – bugler Richard Softley and the late signaller Keith Straughier – visited the National Arboretum and were dismayed to find the DLI was not represented.
More than £90,000 was raised for the statue - much of it coming from The Northern Echo's readers.
Col Charlton said: “The support we have got through The Northern Echo and from individual donations has been fantastic.”
Appeal donations can be made payable to the Regimental and Chattels Charity of the former DLI and sent to DLI Memorial Appeal, The Rifles Durham Office, Elvet, Waterside, Durham, DH1 3BW.
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