FRIENDS of the Tenth are delighted to announce that Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Jennifer, Lady Gretton DCVO JP has become the group’s Honorary President.
Lady Gretton has accepted an invitation from Friends of the Tenth to be the figurehead leading the fund-raising campaign, which is committed to creating a stone memorial for the 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment close to where she lives in Somerby.
Friends of the Tenth is a group of like-minded people who recently launched the appeal to £75,000 to perpetuate the memory and legacy of the Battalion, which was stationed in Somerby in the lead-up to Operation Market Garden in the Battle of Arnhem in 1944.
“I feel very honoured to be asked to become President of the Friends of the Tenth, which is an amazingly worthy cause,” commented Lady Gretton.
“It is only right that we should do all we can to recognise the sacrifices these people made for this country by creating a lasting memorial in the village.
“In my role, I will certainly be encouraging people to support this fund-raising, so we can honour this very sad, but incredible story of their bravery.”
As Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in the county of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton’s role encompasses many different duties and responsibilities, one of which is to liaise with local units from the armed forces and their associated cadet forces.
This is a cause close to her heart because as a long-time resident of Somerby, she has been a member of the Committee of Somerby Parochial Church Council since 1991 and served as a Church Warden of All Saints Church from 1992-1995.
She is also Patron of five Parishes in Leicestershire and Staffordshire, and is patron or president of a wide range of local charities and organisations.
Alec Wilson, Chairman of the Friends of the Tenth group, commented: “We feel extremely privileged that Lady Gretton has agreed to help us in this way.
“It seemed only natural in the circumstances to ask her to be our President, so we are delighted she has accepted this invitation to join our group.”
He added: “We have been overwhelmed by the magnitude of support which we have already received in the initial stages of our fund-raising, and I know that Lady Gretton’s involvement can only give those efforts even more impetus.
“I would like to thank her for pledging that support and also express the group’s gratitude to everyone else helping us with our fund-raising mission.”