Two Grantham veterans who have taken it upon themselves to get a national memorial built to their fallen comrades have received a massive financial boost.
Kevin Doughty of Welham Street in Grantham served in the first Gulf War as a Combat Medical Technician.
After speaking to other Gulf War veterans and learning there was no dedicated Gulf War memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, Mr Doughty asked permission to start planning and fund-raising for one himself and received the green light from the NMA to get started.
Mr Doughty said: “We want to remember the 47 guys that did not come back and the guys that are still suffering because of their service in the Gulf.”
After a steady start to fund-raising Mr Doughty decided to write to the Kuwaiti Ambassador to ask for support. He received a glowing reply along with a cheque for £10,000 towards the new memorial.
Mr Doughty said: “We are still in shock at the generosity shown by the Kuwaitis.
“They are still a very, very grateful nation, 22 years after the war.
“This money will make a huge difference.”
The letter from Kuwait states: “The Ambassador of the State of Kuwait presents his compliments to Mr Kevin Doughty of the Gulf War (90-91) Memorial Trust Appeal and has the honour to enclose a cheque of £10,000...to commemorate the 47 British soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the State of Kuwait.”
Mr Doughty has the support of many Gulf War veterans, not least fellow Granthamian Alan Hunt, vice-treasurer of the Memorial Trust Appeal.
Mr Hunt, of Edward Street in Grantham, said he was shocked by the amount of money donated by Kuwait. He said: “Never in our wildest dreams did we expect that much.”
The national fund-raising campaign was started right here in Grantham with Mr Doughty pushing past the £1,000 mark thanks to a stint on the door of Barcode in Westgate on New Year’s Eve.
The aim is to build the memorial and have it in place ready for February 28, 2016 - 25 years after the end of Operation Desert Storm.
Mr Doughty said: “We are six months into a three-and-a-half year project and it is going really well.
“What we have achieved so far is nothing short of a miracle.”