You’ll get VIP treatment at Armed Forces Day, Connor: Caring charity helps lad, 13, who lost his dad in Afghanistan

Echo: Thank you! Connor with Dan Rodgers and Rachael Wallington from the Essex Military Support Association Thank you! Connor with Dan Rodgers and Rachael Wallington from the Essex Military Support Association

YOUNG boy has received complimentary tickets to the annual Armed Forces Day in Basildon in memory of his dad.

Connor George, 13, was only one when his dad, Darren George, who fought in the 1st Battalion of Royal Anglicans, died in Afghanistan, aged 22, in 2002.

He has since received support from charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which helps youngsters who have lost a parent in the Armed Forces.

Since his dad’s death, Connor has received birthday presents and cards from the charity every year.

Connor’s mum, Sarah Hopkins, 32, says the charity is doing great work.

She said: “Connor was a baby when his dad died. The hardest thing for him is that now he’s growing up, he doesn’t have memories of his dad.

“But the charity has been fantastic with him and they do a lot for children in the same position all over the country.”

Dan Rodgers, organiser of the South Essex Armed Forces Day, which is being held at Barleylands Farm this weekend, heard of the young boy’s story through the charity.

He decided to offer free VIP tickets to Connor and his family.

Mr Rodgers, who is also the chairman of the Essex Military Support Association, said: “I heard about Connor through Scotty’s Little Soldiers. They told me that there was a local boy who lost his dad in Afghanistan.

“We got in touch with him and he was quite keen to come to the event.”

Connor and his mum are hoping to raise awareness for the charity during the event and will be collecting money on its behalf.

Mrs Hopkins said: “It’s just such an amazing charity, so we’ll be going around with buckets collecting money. It is nice to raise awareness.”

See WWII icons at fab family day out

SOUTH Essex’s version of Armed Forces Day features a host of eye-catching displays.

It runs at Barleylands, in Barleylands Road, Billericaytomorrow and Sunday.

The event will feature flying displays by classic aircraft, demonstrations on the ground, live music and a host of other family entertainment.

Flying displays will feature Second WorldWar aircraft, including a Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster bomber, plus more recent Gnat trainers.

The Army will demonstrate how it carries out medical evacuations under fire, while
Essex Fire and Rescue Service will also be doing displays.

Admission is by ticket only, and they are available by calling 08444 771000, or visiting essexmilitarysupport.com Day tickets cost £10 for adults and £3.50 for under- 16s, while under-fives get in free.

Events on both days start at 10am. 

Comments (8)

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4:52pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Life in a seaside town says...

Great work by the charity. There are some decent people in this world.
Great work by the charity. There are some decent people in this world. Life in a seaside town
  • Score: 7

8:33pm Fri 20 Jun 14

sesibollox says...

The Barleylands event will be making money from the fallen, not in the true meaning of Remembrance..
The Barleylands event will be making money from the fallen, not in the true meaning of Remembrance.. sesibollox
  • Score: -4

3:28am Sat 21 Jun 14

solitairess says...

If Maldon can give a free Armed Forces Day Weekend at Stow Maries Airfield on the 28th/29th, the proper Armed Forces Day celebration weekend, why would anyone cough up a hefty £60 for two days on this? Even the Royal British Legion opted out from this lot and veterans/serving af have to pay. This is the only one in the country charging, check it out on the Armed Forces Day official website. Don't put your hard earn't cash in commercialised pockets, save it for armed forces charities on the proper weekend at dozens of different events throughout the region.
http://www.armedforc
esday.org.uk/events/
Listing.aspx
If Maldon can give a free Armed Forces Day Weekend at Stow Maries Airfield on the 28th/29th, the proper Armed Forces Day celebration weekend, why would anyone cough up a hefty £60 for two days on this? Even the Royal British Legion opted out from this lot and veterans/serving af have to pay. This is the only one in the country charging, check it out on the Armed Forces Day official website. Don't put your hard earn't cash in commercialised pockets, save it for armed forces charities on the proper weekend at dozens of different events throughout the region. http://www.armedforc esday.org.uk/events/ Listing.aspx solitairess
  • Score: 0

3:42am Sat 21 Jun 14

K4Southend says...

Get it right Echo its £10 adults, £5 under 18s and £5 parking.
Get it right Echo its £10 adults, £5 under 18s and £5 parking. K4Southend
  • Score: 4

3:43am Sat 21 Jun 14

K4Southend says...

K4Southend wrote:
Get it right Echo its £10 adults, £5 under 18s and £5 parking.
per day!
[quote][p][bold]K4Southend[/bold] wrote: Get it right Echo its £10 adults, £5 under 18s and £5 parking.[/p][/quote]per day! K4Southend
  • Score: 4

2:28pm Sat 21 Jun 14

Jack222 says...

Not impressed by 'help for heroes'.

A physical hero is someone who gets a bravery medal, not someone who freely decides to go the morally and legally questionable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and pointless - what did either achieve? nothing.) and gets injured. Those injured soldiers were well paid, get compensation and then we are expected to view them as 'heroes' and give them yet more money.

Err, no.
Not impressed by 'help for heroes'. A physical hero is someone who gets a bravery medal, not someone who freely decides to go the morally and legally questionable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and pointless - what did either achieve? nothing.) and gets injured. Those injured soldiers were well paid, get compensation and then we are expected to view them as 'heroes' and give them yet more money. Err, no. Jack222
  • Score: -14

3:48pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Kim Gandy says...

Kim*Gandy wrote:
Ahmen indeed there are many decent folk around here in Rayleigh, pity that it takes a war for people to show it.
This is not my comment. It is yet again the work of this website's resident obsessive nutter.

Please disregard, as usual, any comments made by Cllr Cockroach under the guise of my name.

You know my name will always be spelt correctly with no punctuation or extraneous characters.

And I do not make stupid, pointless comments. Please disregard.
[quote][p][bold]Kim*Gandy[/bold] wrote: Ahmen indeed there are many decent folk around here in Rayleigh, pity that it takes a war for people to show it.[/p][/quote]This is not my comment. It is yet again the work of this website's resident obsessive nutter. Please disregard, as usual, any comments made by Cllr Cockroach under the guise of my name. You know my name will always be spelt correctly with no punctuation or extraneous characters. And I do not make stupid, pointless comments. Please disregard. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Kim Gandy says...

Jack222 wrote:
Not impressed by 'help for heroes'.

A physical hero is someone who gets a bravery medal, not someone who freely decides to go the morally and legally questionable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and pointless - what did either achieve? nothing.) and gets injured. Those injured soldiers were well paid, get compensation and then we are expected to view them as 'heroes' and give them yet more money.

Err, no.
oh do shut up.

Just because you have never done anything for the good of the community,

Full respect for these lads and their families.
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: Not impressed by 'help for heroes'. A physical hero is someone who gets a bravery medal, not someone who freely decides to go the morally and legally questionable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and pointless - what did either achieve? nothing.) and gets injured. Those injured soldiers were well paid, get compensation and then we are expected to view them as 'heroes' and give them yet more money. Err, no.[/p][/quote]oh do shut up. Just because you have never done anything for the good of the community, Full respect for these lads and their families. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 11

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