Daughter’s musical tribute to dad who was killed in action

PUTTING ON A SHOW Lucy Rees-Blanchard with fellow organiser Ben Smart
PUTTING ON A SHOW Lucy Rees-Blanchard with fellow organiser Ben Smart

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A TEENAGER whose soldier father was killed in Afghanistan has said: ‘I hope he’d be proud of me.’

Lucy Rees-Blanchard spoke as she prepares to stage a musical show in memory of her father, Sapper William Blanchard.

Sapper William Blanchard

Sapper William Blanchard

Sapper Blanchard, 39, a soldier in the Terroritorial Army, was shot while defusing a roadside bomb in the Nahr-e Saraj North area of southern Afghanistan in October last year.

Now Lucy, 19, who is a performing arts student at Fareham College, has come up with the idea of staging a show to remember him and to raise money for forces charity Help For Heroes.

Lucy, from Locks Heath, said: ‘Dad always loved to come and watch my shows whenever he could, so this seemed like the perfect way to honour him and raise money for Help For Heroes. I asked my friend Ben Smart to help me and he asked his class if they wanted to be in it – they were all really keen to be part of it.

‘It’s nice to know that everyone wanted to be involved and do something for my dad.

‘I hope he’d be proud of what we’re doing.’

Ben, 19, said: ‘We had wanted to put on a variety show and Lucy and I were talking about doing something for another charity when this happened. She asked me if we could do it in her dad’s memory and of course we all wanted to help.

‘I know losing her dad has taken its toll on her as it would anyone, and she’s found it hard to cope at times, but I think putting on this show has helped a little.’

Twenty current and former students created the show.

Course leader Donna Bish added: ‘They’ve done a fabulous job.’

The show, called A Night At The Musicals, was originally only planned for one performance tonight at Fareham College in Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, but a second has been added tomorrow to meet demand. Help For Heroes merchandise will be on sale.

It features about 30 songs from musicals including Les Miserables, The Rocky Horror Show and Chicago. Tickets costing £6 for adults and £4 for under-12s are available by calling (01329) 815264 or emailing boxoffice@fareham.ac.uk. They will also be for sale on the door.