Event to celebrate Ripley soldier's memory ten years on
The friends and family of a Ripley soldier who was killed in the line of duty are to hold an event marking the tenth anniversary since his death.
Drummer Thomas Wright, of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters regiment, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday, June 24, 2007, when a bomb explosion hit his Land Rover.
Ten years on, his family and friends will celebrate his memory with a day of live music at the Sir Barnes Wallis pub on Maple Avenue, Ripley, on Saturday June 24.
The event is being organised by Aron Fowler, 33, who served alongside Thomas for six years and was injured in the same explosion.
He said: “Our families hold something private every year, but this time we wanted to do something different.
“It’s about remembering the person he was, not just his death.”
After considering a few possibilities, Aron settled on the idea of a mini-festival, with bands, food and children’s activities.
Aron said: “Thomas really loved his music. He was into all different kinds of stuff.
“The line-up for the day is a big mix of genres, everything he would have enjoyed.”
The line-up includes some great local talent such as pop punk four-piece Ocean Floor, folk duo Flatlands and Garage Flowers and heavy metal covers band Wolf’skin.
They will be joined by indie rockers The Colliders, ‘90s revivalists Titanium, singer-songwriter Jess Guyler and young upstarts Into the Unknown.
The bands, DJ and the pub’s landlord have all given up their services for free.
Aron is hosting the event with the consent of Thomas’ immediate family, and some of them will be involved in the day - but they hope it will be an occasion for the whole community to come together.
Aron said: “He was a member of our Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice. That’s something we shouldn’t forget. Thomas was one of Ripley’s truest heroes.
“Obviously it means something more in my eyes, but none of us should ever forget the men and women who put their lives on the line.”
Aron has devoted much of his time to volunteering with the Royal British Legion since he was discharged from the Army on medical grounds, and hopes the event will raise some vital funds for the veterans’ charity.
Bands will start at noon and play until 8pm. For more details, follow the Facebook event page at http://bit.ly/2qqdyHs.