The family of a Horsley Woodhouse World War One veteran killed in action have backed our campaign to plant memorial trees for the centenary of the conflict.
In January we launched the ‘Pennies for our Heroes’ appeal in a bid to raise enough money to plant oak trees in Ripley, Heanor and Alfreton.
We are asking our ever generous readers to donate their small change so we can plant these fitting reminders in parks in the three towns.
As part of the campaign each week we are trying to tell the stories of those that fought in the conflict.
Private George Beardsley of Horsley Woodhouse was one such soldier - sadly killed on December 14, 1915 in Ypres.
We featured his story in the News a fortnight ago, appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
And his great granddaughter Paula Nash, of Fairfield Road, Horsley Woodhouse, answered the call.
The family say they do not know a huge amount about the former miner , but Paula, a midday supervisor at the village primary school, 44, says they still have his four war medals. She added that her family would love to see memorial trees planted in honour of those that lost their lives in the war.
She said: “It will be really nice to see him remembered in some way.
“I’m saving up my pennies, we’ve got quite a few now to hand in.”
Her dad, Geoff Nash, 76, of Clement Road, Horsley Woodhouse actually followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Private Beardsley, by enlisting in the army himself for three years in 1956.
Also a fellow miner, father of two Geoff never got to meet his grandfather, but he did remember a large photographic portrait of the man hung at his grandmother Frances’ home.
Private George Beardsley’s body was never found - though he is commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres and at the war memorial at Horsley Woodhouse.
We hope to keep the memory of George, and many others, alive through planting the oak trees, which this week was helped on its way through a bucket-load of coins handed in by our kind readers.
We hope to raise enough to install plaques by the trees in the same way we did in 2012, when we successfully planted three established oaks in each of the towns to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
We have teamed up with Amber Valley Borough Council, which has agreed to source the trees and arrange for the planting to be carried out.
News editor Julie Crouch said: “These trees will serve as living monuments for our children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren to remember our WW1 heroes.
“When we ran a similar campaign for the jubilee it was a massive success and there is no reason we can’t do the same again. So dig into those pockets, delve behind that sofa and let’s plant a lasting memento.”