9:00am Wednesday 12th June 2013
A TIDWORTH man has organised a peaceful march to make a stand against extremism in the wake of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.
Shaun Freeman, 43, who works as a chef at Army HQ in Andover, decided he wanted to do something constructive as a mark of respect for Drummer Rigby, who was killed on 22 May, as well as other fallen services’ personnel, and as a show of defence against extremism of any persuasion.
After he contacted the Woolwich Strong community on Facebook for advice he decided to organise a Tidworth Strong community.
A national movement is being organised for peaceful marches across the UK on 23 June, and in Tidworth soldiers and civilians will march together from the Esso field ending at the Royal British Legion, which is letting Mr Freeman use its facilities to host a family fun day after the march.
Mr Freeman said: “I thought after the peaceful, reflective walk we’d have a celebration of life. That’s the sort of thing soldiers tend to do, that’s the way they approach it.”
The event has snowballed, with lots of local businesses showing support and offering raffle prizes.
“Every day I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of positive support,” said Mr Freeman.
The money raised is going to five military charities – Help for Heroes, SSAFA, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, Combat Stress and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Aid Society.
Local businesses including Affinity Flowers, The Ram, Monster Nutrition, Jaris Driving School, PPS Computers have donated raffle prizes.
Mr Freeman is hoping hundreds of people will go along to show their support on 23 June.
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