National asbestos cancer charity, Mesothelioma UK commissions armed forces memorial sculpture

Sculpture planned at National Memorial Arboretum to honour mesothelioma patients who served in the armed forces

Mesothelioma UK, the national asbestos-related cancer charity, has commissioned a design for a memorial sculpture to honour mesothelioma patients from the armed forces.

Once funding is secured the sculpture will be installed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire. The permanent memorial will honour all veterans, armed forces service men and women who have died from mesothelioma.

The planned sculpture is part of Mesothelioma UK’s ‘Supporting our Armed Forces’ project that has captured the impact of mesothelioma amongst and our forces and established a bespoke service that provides information, advice and support specifically for armed forces veterans and serving personnel affected by mesothelioma.

The memorial is made up of more than 60 carved stone blocks representing the building blocks of life and public service. The blocks form a tower which, although damaged, is supported above and below. The supporting blocks represent the support offered by the charity.

The stone blocks are engraved with information about the charity, mesothelioma, asbestos and the armed forces. Blocks can be sponsored in memory of a loved one or supporters can make a donation to the charity to help fund the work. To sponsor the memorial, visit www.mesothelioma.uk.com/armed-forces-memorial-donation/ or contact 0800 169 2409.

Mesothelioma UK’s Supporting our Armed Forces project is supported by Government funding from fines levied on the banking industry for manipulating the LIBOR rate (the London inter-bank lending rate). Other achievements of the project include the appointment of an armed forces Benefits Advisor to help clients to navigate the complex system of claiming compensation and accessing benefits, a dedicated armed forces Clinical Nurse Specialist and a research programme that will provide a broad insight into the impact of mesothelioma amongst our armed forces and veterans.

Brian Wallis, veteran and Mesothelioma UK Ambassador said: “It is an honour and privilege to be an Ambassador for Mesothelioma UK, especially as my late wife and I gave most of our working lives to Crown and Country before she died of mesothelioma in 2012. This memorial will provide an opportunity for families and loved ones to pay tribute to their fallen and I commend the project to you all.

“I am urging all those who have lost a loved one to this terrible disease to contribute to this unique memorial – as a tribute to their loved ones and to those who have cared for them during their illness.”

Head of Services for Mesothelioma UK, Liz Darlison, commented: “Our Supporting our Armed Forces project has gone from strength to strength and we’re eager to ensure there is a permanent memorial to honour armed forces personnel and veterans who lost their lives to mesothelioma.

“We’re inviting anyone who has lost a loved one to sponsor a block in their memory or make any donation they can to help us fund this project.”