Why donate? Basra Wall

“You need somewhere to go when you’ve lost someone. John’s buried a long long way away and the Arboretum’s so peaceful. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO COME.”

We appreciate every donation, whatever the size. All donations are invaluable as they help us to continue our work and ensure the nation has a year round place of Remembrance.

Early in 2010 the National Memorial Arboretum launched an urgent appeal to create a fitting home for the Basra Memorial Wall. Please show your support for families like Carol and Ray, whose son John was killed in Iraq in 2005.

Sergeant John Jones was serving with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and was just 31 when he was killed by a roadside bomb whilst on patrol in Basra. John’s mother Carol explained “John loved active service – he volunteered to go back to Iraq.” As a brave and dedicated soldier, John had also served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Kosovo. He was well respected by colleagues and is sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

"When you lose a child, especially as a mother who’s carried that child for nine months, it hurts. I now want to support other families who are going through the same thing."

Carol, who had already planted a tree in memory of John at the Arboretum and had seen his name dedicated on the Armed Forces Memorial, was heartened to know that her son 
had been remembered by those he’d served alongside and there was a plaque dedicated to him on the Basra Memorial Wall. She was, however, concerned about what would happen to the wall once the conflict in Iraq came to an end.

Determined that the Basra Memorial Wall should find a fitting home so that families who’d experienced a similar loss could find comfort closer to home, Carol got to work campaigning to bring the memorial to the National Memorial Arboretum. “We wrote countless letters to the Prime Minister and set up a petition – where we managed to collect over 1600 names”.

“When we withdrew our troops from Iraq the memorial would have been the first thing to get 
destroyed.
I wanted it brought home. THE WALL WAS BUILT BY OUR LADS, FOR OUR LADS.”


The Arboretum is special in many people’s hearts. From those who visit to remember a loved one in peace, to veterans who meet regularly to come to terms and remember their war experiences, it truly is a special place.

Your gift makes all the difference – helping the National Memorial Arboretum to be a fitting home for the Basra Memorial Wall as well as others. By supporting the Arboretum today you can help bring comfort to those who've lost loved ones and colleagues in combat. Help us continue our work for all those who want to remember, and enable future generations to learn from and appreciate this truly special place.

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Thank you for your generous support!

 

Carol  & Ray at the tree planted in John's memory

Ray and Carol at the tree they planted in John's memory.

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Sergeant John Jones whilst serving in Basra

Sergeant John Jones whilst serving in Basra.

Carol and Ray see John's name on the Armed Forces Memorial

Carol and Ray see John's name on the Armed forces Memorial.