Give Support / Leave a gift in your Will / Our legacy heroes

Our legacy heroes

It’s always an honour to learn more about our dedicated and far-sighted friends who choose to remember wounded veterans in their Will. We’re eternally grateful to them for their kindness, and also to those families who’ve kindly shared their stories.

IRENE’S LEGACY OF LOVE AND HOPE

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Gill’s sister, Irene, left a gift in memory of her husband, Bob. Here Gill shares their story.

“My sister saw first-hand that the wounds of war never really heal.

“Her husband, Bob, signed up at 18 and fought across North Africa and Italy. In 1944, at the Battle of Monte Cassino, a bullet hit Bob in the thigh and shattered his femur. This ended his war but the battle with pain would last the rest of his life.

“Bob had numerous operations but each one made matters worse, and he was left very badly disabled. His injury made it impossible for them to go out and do normal things. It ruined their lives.

"After one surgery, infection set in and the doctors couldn’t find an antibiotic to stop it. Despite lots more operations, Bob contracted sepsis and died. Sixty nine years after being shot at Monte Cassino, his wound finally killed him.

“Irene wasn’t just Bob’s wife: she became his carer too. When she saw injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Irene knew the challenges they’d face. My sister didn’t want other families to struggle like she and Bob did, and that’s why she remembered Help for Heroes in her Will.”

A CENTURY OF CARE FOR WOUNDED VETERANS

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Lay Executor, Claire Winter, explained the very special reason for her parents’ legacy.

"When my father passed away he left a gift in his Will to Help for Heroes to fund prosthetic limbs. This gift was inspired by his experiences in Burma during World War II; but also by our family history.

"In 1913 my mother’s father, Charles DeSoutter, invented the first lightweight artificial leg for his brother. Over the next four decades our family made and fitted more than 50,000 false legs; many for servicemen injured during the two World Wars.

"My parents really admired Help for Heroes, and leaving a gift in their Wills to fund prosthetic limbs was their way of continuing my grandfather’s work. I think he would be incredibly frustrated that, a century on, veterans are still struggling to get prosthetics fit for purpose. But I also think he would see a parallel between the care he and his brother offered wounded veterans all those years ago, and the tailored support the charity provides today.

"I’m proud of the part my family’s played in the prosthetics field; and I’m proud of my father’s service. But I’m especially proud of my parents for thinking of others until the end."

MY FATHER PROTECTED OUR COUNTRY FOR OVER 30 YEARS

Woman holding photograph of her father

 

Carole Groves’ father served in RAF Intelligence in the Falklands, Cyprus, Aden and Belize, and throughout the Cold War.

“It was some years after he completed his service that Dad’s time in the RAF finally caught up with him”, Carole remembers.

“He was losing weight and had test after test. Eventually he was diagnosed with mesothelioma from asbestos in the aircraft hangars and barracks he worked in. By the time he was diagnosed, we only had a few days left with him.

“I want to make sure all wounded veterans get the care that wasn’t there for my dad. That’s why I support and work for Help for Heroes. And that’s why I’m leaving a gift in my Will.

“My father protected our country for over 30 years. Now I’m protecting those who follow in his footsteps.”

For more information on leaving a gift in your Will, contact our Legacy team at legacies@helpforheroes.org.uk.

Useful links

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