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Remembering the injured and families of the fallen

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

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DURING 2012, ABF The Soldiers' Charity disbursed more than £106,000 to Devon-based soldiers injured in battle and the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

While fatalities in Afghanistan dominate the headlines, seldom are the stories told of those young men and women who have suffered serious injuries in the battle field and whose lives will be affected forever.

This is why the Devon branch of ABF The Soldiers Charity is organising one of the most unusual concerts Exeter will see during 2013, to take place at the cathedral on February 23, from 7.15pm.

Raising funds to continue its support of Devon's soldiers and families, Celebrate Our Soldiers will involve some of Devon's finest performers and musicians.

Joining them will be former MP and war correspondent Martin Bell, actor and broadcaster Crawford Logan, a number of Chelsea Pensioners and many of the county's serving and retired soldiers.

The Exeter Philharmonic Choir and the Exeter Symphony Orchestra will also accompany renowned South West violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen, who will perform the hauntingly beautiful B minor violin Concerto by Max Bruch.

Pipe Major James Robertson will be leading the City of Exeter Pipe Band before Myles Taylor, an obstetrician at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, is accompanied on the organ by Exeter Cathedral's assistant director of music David Davies during his performance of The Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clark.

Concert organiser Hamish Monroe said: "The charity supports serving and former soldiers and their families, from the very young through to the retired and elderly, and those with traumatic physical injuries as well as those with mental illness.

"In Devon many soldiers are in great need of the charity's support, so we very much hope the concert raises both awareness and donations thanks to a night of beautiful classical music performed by hugely talented individuals, many of who call Exeter and/or Devon their home."

While there is presently much focus on current and recent operations such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the charity also supports those who have suffered in earlier conflicts, stretching back to the Second World War and beyond.

The demand for its support has been rising steadily and in 2010-11 it distributed nationally £7,200,000 in grant payments to individuals and other charities that support its aims.

Hamish added: "Guests can not only enjoy the evening knowing they are supporting our soldiers, but they can expect an evening full of spectacular classical music including the works of Brahms, Handel, Walton, Clarke and Elgar."

Tickets for the Celebrate Our Soldiers concert can be bought online at www.soldierscharity.org/events or from ABF The Soldiers' Charity South West Regional Office at Wyvern Barracks – call 01392 492650 or email southwest@soldierscharity.org.

ABF The Soldiers' Charity was founded as the Army Benevolent Fund in 1944, with his late Majesty King George VI as its first patron. It supports soldiers, former soldiers and their families in times of need. For information about The Soldiers' Charity and how they support our soldiers visit www.soldierscharity.org

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