New appeal for Royal Anglian archive

A NEW appeal has been launched to raise £250,000 to set up a digital archive at the Royal Anglian Regiment's museum.

A NEW appeal has been launched to raise £250,000 to set up a digital archive at the Royal Anglian Regiment's museum.

The high-tech digital exhibit will feature stores about the role the Royal Anglians played in the war in Iraq, using audio/visual displays to commemorate those who have been killed on active service, along with showing what day-to-day life is like for soldiers in modern battle theatres.

The museum is housed within the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and, launching the appeal on Friday, the 1st Battalion's commanding officer, Lt Col Stuart Carver said: “This is an opportunity to capture the tour of a generation - it's an opportunity to capture the moment for posterity.”

There are already plans for a memorial to fallen soldiers at the museum. The circular memorial, with the statue of an infantryman, will be partly funded by an appeal supported by the EADT, which raised more than £250,000.

It will carry the names of the 68 soldiers killed in action since the regiment's formation 50 years ago.

Those honoured will include Pte Aaron McClure, 19, from Ipswich, and Pte John Thrumble, 21, from Chelmsford, who, along with seven colleagues, lost their lives during last summer's bloody campaign to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

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Funds have also gone directly to some of the 57 soldiers wounded on the tour, to help them recover from their injuries.

On Friday Lt Col Carver gave a presentation on their achievements in Helmand to invited guests including the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief, the Duke of Gloucester, film maker Ross Kemp and war correspondents Martin Bell and Kate Adie.

The reception, at Duxford, charted the Royal Anglians' deployment to Helmand Province, where the 1st Battalion were deployed to drive the Taliban from the so-called Green Zone. Their job was not only to drive the Taliban out but help local people restore order to the war-torn region.

Six members of the battalion received the Military Cross, five a Mentioned in Despatches and another the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service. Lt Col Carver was awarded a Distinguished Service Order for his leadership.

As well as the military hardware on show, which now includes small arms and other souvenirs of last summer's fighting, guests heard the current museum does not have space for further large-scale exhibits.

Donations to the appeal, made payable to the Royal Anglian Regiment Museum Trust, can be sent to the Royal Bank of Scotland, Holt's Farnborough Branch, Lawrie House, Victoria Road, Farnborough, Hants GU14 7NR.

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