Church concert for marine war widows

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A CHURCH concert is set to raise more than £100,000 for Royal Marines war widows.

St Peter and St Paul Church, in Hambledon, will play host to some of London’s finest sopranos, Winchester Cathedral Choir, The RM Brass Quintet and Corps of Drums and former Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones.

The sold-out concert has been organised by village resident Tony Higham, a retired Navy Commander, whose son, Duncan, is a major in the Royal Marines.

The first concert two years ago was such a success that Mr Higham decided to repeat it. He has received support from Tony Blair and Sir Philip Green who have both sponsored the event.

The money raised is donated to widows of Royal Marines who have died in Afghanistan and guests on the night will include Christina Schmid, the widow of bomb disposer Staff Sgt Oz Schmid who was killed a year ago.

She will wear her Elizabeth Cross and her late husband’s George Cross.

Mr Higham, 62, said: ‘Four thousand marines deployed to Afghanistan last month, to Helmand. Very sadly a teenage marine has already been killed. Sadly more casualties are anticipated over the next five months.

‘Commander Ollie Lee has recorded a moving message from Afghanistan which we will show.

‘He is in amongst it, with bullets flying around.

‘It will be a fabulous evening , but obviously very emotional.’

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