Thompsons helps create forces memorial
Published:  20 September, 2010

SUNDERLAND: Thompson Building Centres has helped a local charity fulfil its dream – to provide a memorial wall to honour the area's fallen servicemen and women.


The independent merchant backed the Sunderland-based Brothers In Arms appeal, set up 18 months ago by the parents of young soldiers who had lost their lives while serving with the Armed Forces.

The appeal has reach its £100 000 target – supported by Thompson and with a pledge from managing director Anne Ganley to underwrite any additional costs.

The existing Wearside memorial only names those who died up to World War II and families who have lost their loved ones since the 1940s have not had anywhere to go to pay their respects.

From the launch of the campaign Ms Ganley has given it her support, not only helping organise and sponsor fund-raising events but also giving the families behind the appeal a fund raising office at her company headquarters and putting the full resources of Thompson Building Centres at their disposal.

Along with her son Brent, Thompson also helped bring on board solicitors and architects to help see the project through to fruition, along with assisting in gaining the support of Sunderland City Council.

A proportion of the money she raised while undertaking a trek to Everest base camp earlier this year has also gone to the Brothers In Arms appeal. The campaign was additionally supported by the building industry who gave generously to the appeal, bringing in around £16 000 at the start of the campaign.

"It has been a great pleasure and an honour for both myself and Thompsons as a company to support this very worthy cause," said Ms Ganley.

 "These brave parents have lost their children who were serving their country and although nothing will ever take away the pain of what they have been through, this wall will last as a permanent tribute to their bravery.

 "This has been a very emotional experience for everyone but at least something positive has come out of what has been such terrible experiences for the families involved.

"The Armed Forces should be very proud of the parents - Janice, Carla, Tom, Brenda, Linda and Brian - who have turned their grief into something positive and through sheer commitment and dedication have ensured that their dream has become a reality."

The memorial, she added, "will also have an educational purpose for future generations who will be able to go there, see the names of the men and women who have lost their lives and understand the sacrifices that have been made."

Thompson Building Centres will also be providing the materials free of charge when the building actually gets under way, with plans for an official opening of the memorial in 2011.

Shown in the picture are parents Janice Murray, Carla and Tom Cuthbertson, Linda Frisken and Brenda Gooch with Thompson Building Centres’ managing director Anne Ganley (second right) at the cutting of the first turf for the new memorial wall at Sunderland's Mowbray Park. 

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