AddThis SmartLayers

Website's fund-raising appeal for fallen RAF hero

A website which features tributes to loved ones who have died has launched a fund-raising appeal.

Lasting Tribute is hoping to collect £2,500 to dedicate an acre of woodland in memory of RAF hero Martin Beard, from Derbyshire.

Martin, (20), was killed in Iraq in August after being shot while on patrol in Basra.

His fiancée Nicola Parkin now wants to raise the money so that an acre of woodland called The Birches, in Ambergate north of Derby, can be dedicated to him.

She said: “Martin and I were due to be married next year and I am still struggling to come to terms with his death.

“He was a hero. The idea of dedicating an area of woodland to his memory is wonderful.

“It means there would be a living, lasting tribute to him.

“It would also be a place where his family and friends could visit and spend some quiet time remembering how special he was to so many people.

“We would be most grateful for any donations.”

Lasting Tribute is a national site run by Associated Northcliffe Digital, based in Derby.

It is working with editors from newspapers in sister company Northcliffe Media to publish local obituary notices.

A weeping willow tree has also been created on Tribute Island – a memorial area in virtual world Second Life.

This new appeal is being run in conjunction with the Woodland Trust and Lasting Tribute has already received many tributes to Martin with several messages posted on the site.

The fund has raised more than £300 since its launch earlier this month.

In addition to the woodland dedication, a commemorative post featuring a specially engraved plaque will also be placed on the site.

Lasting Tribute project editor Julie Bayley said: “Lasting Tribute features the life story of every soldier who has been killed in the recent military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“These tributes have proved a source of comfort for the families and friends of those who have died as they have been able to share messages and memories about their loved ones through the site.

“We are very keen to support Nicola in this appeal as we believe that a living tribute, such as a woodland, will provide a perfect place for his friends and family to go when they want to spend some quiet time remembering him.

“It is obvious from the messages that have been left on Lasting Tribute for Martin that he has left a huge hole in the lives of many people.”

To read about the appeal or make a donation visit the Martin Beard appeal page.