TWO years of hard work by Sheffield mothers to honour sons killed in Afghanistan and other victims of war have culminated with the unveiling of a new memorial.
Nicolette Williams, whose airman son Christopher Bridge died in 2007, started fundraising for the monument in Shiregreen Cemetery at the start of 2010.
She was later helped by Ann Fellows, mother of Royal Marine Steven Jamie Fellows, who was killed in the war zone the following year.
The two women reached the £35,000 target 12 months ago to pay for the memorial.
The new monument now honours Senior Aircraftsman Bridge, aged 20, of Shiregreen, and Lance Corporal Fellows, 26, of Parson Cross, along with 69 soldiers who died in World War Two and are buried at the cemetery.
Shiregreen was the only cemetery in Sheffield without a war memorial before Nicolette and Ann stepped in.
Nicolette said: “I had to do it because I couldn’t let Christopher, Jamie and all those other people be forgotten.
“I feel extremely proud that the memorial has been built but I am even prouder of those service personnel who have given their lives for our freedom. Now they will always be in people’s minds, thoughts and hearts.”
Nicolette will continue to raise cash for military charity Help for Heroes, which supports wounded troops.
The launch was attended by Lord Mayor Coun John Campbell, who has served in the Territorial Army.
He said: “We are a diverse and caring city and we are also generous and forgiving.
“We have respect for those of our fellow Sheffielders who gave up their lives in the cause of worldwide peace.”
Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett, who supported Nicolette and Ann’s fundraising with a £4,100 donation, said: “I would like to pay tribute to them for their determination and their extraordinary success in not only raising funds but persuading many people to join them in this.
“This is not just a physical memorial, a monument to those who have fallen in past and more recent conflict. This is a living example of how people, working together can actually proved a symbol of hope for the future.”
The new memorial is made of granite and incorporates a compass with a teardrop pointer and a dove of peace.
The base represents a map of Britain and the Union flag, and the upright section rests on Sheffield.
The ceremony followed a procession from Concord Park. Family and friends of some World War Two heroes also attended.
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