Thursday, 25 February 2010

Soldiers look to cook up garden funds

From The Scotsman:

A MEMORIAL garden to honour Edinburgh-based soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan is set to be created at a city barracks.
The remembrance garden, which will cost around £30,000, will commemorate troops from 3rd Battalion The Rifles (3 Rifles) who have lost their lives during the battalion's tour in Helmand.

The garden will be located outside the officers' mess at Redford Barracks, where the battalion is based, and will officially open on 7 May ahead of the Homecoming Parade along the Royal Mile the following day.

Work is currently being carried out at the garden, which will feature a memorial stone with an inscription to the fallen soldiers on a paved area in the centre. The paved area will have five benches and will be surrounded by grass.

The garden will also honour any other members of 3 Rifles who have given their lives in service since the battalion was formed in February 2007, as well as any soldiers who are killed in future.

Donations from a number of businesses, including paving slabs, benches and a memorial stone worth £15,000, have made the garden possible.

A cooking fundraiser, organised by the catering department of 3 Rifles, will also be held at Tesco in Colinton on Friday to raise money for the remaining work.

The event is the brainchild of Sergeant Danny Kay, of the battalion's catering department.

Sgt Kay, rear operations master chef, said: "We approached our local Tesco store to see if they were interested in supporting a cooking fundraiser, and they were delighted to help.

"Tesco will provide the raw ingredients for free, and throughout the day army chefs will cook breakfasts, lunches and dinners in an army field kitchen outside the store.

"We are looking to feed as many people as possible during the day and their donations will go towards the garden fund."

A range of food, including breakfast baps, soup, steak sandwiches, haggis and hot pancakes, will be served just outside the store, with customers asked to donate between £1 and £2.50.

Scotland's youngest Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kitchin, will provide his support on the day by helping to prepare the sausage and bacon rolls in the morning.

Around 800 members of the 3 Rifles Battlegroup is currently on operations in Helmand, and to date 20 soldiers have been killed in action during the six-month tour, which ends in April.

Officer commanding rear operations, Major Chris Willis, said: "Funds raised will help us to create a lasting memorial to our fallen comrades, who were prepared to sacrifice their lives as part of the global struggle against the terrorism which seeks to threaten the daily lives of us all."

The fundraiser will take place at Tesco on Colinton Mains Drive between 8am and 7pm, with the battalion hoping to raise around £2,500.

Sgt Kay, 36, added: "It's fantastic that Tom Kitchin can take time out of his really busy schedule to help such a good cause.

"It will be a place for remembrance – to remember the supreme sacrifice that the fallen soldiers have shown to the whole community and Britain itself."

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