Ex-paras help to create wings of glory memorial

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DISPATCH district members of the Nottingham branch of the Parachute Regiment Association (Airborne Forces) are playing their part in an initiative to fund a memorial to peers killed on duty.

Since the launch of the memorial appeal last year, the Nottingham contingent, led by branch president John Needham, has raised hundreds of pounds.

Ex-paras, including Tony Hadley and Suez veteran Ken Duggan, both of Bulwell, Tommy Twigger, of Papplewick, and Falklands hero Joe Willoughby, of Old Basford on the outskirts of the Dispatch district, have played their parts.

The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces monument is to be sited at the national memorial arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, which commemorates military lives lost since the inception of the organisation.

Sculptor Mark Jackson, the son of Army chief Sr Mark Jackson, assisted by fellow sculptor Charlie Langton, has been commissioned to create the monument.

The giant bronze statue will feature the mythological winged horse Pegasus, with hero Bellerophon) astride, to reflect the traditional Airborne Forces logo. Underneath will be a paratrooper fresh from a jump.

Nottingham paras spokesman Mark Holding said: “The Pegasus memorial will serve as a worthy tribute to the brave servicemen and women who have served in the Airborne Forces in the last 70 years.

“Prince Charles, who is colonel of the Parchute Regiment, is expected to officiate at a special unveiling ceremony on Friday July 13. It is going to be a memorable occasion.”

Representatives of the Nottingham Parachute Regiment Association are planning to attend.

n OUR PHOTO shows ex-paras Tommy Twigger (front left) and (clockwise) Tony Hadley, Mark Holding, Joe Willoughby, Ken Sellers and Ken Duggan (front right) flying the Pegasus flag (PHOTO AND STORY BY: Peter Jordan).