Relatives of a member of the Royal British Legion (RBL) have donated £5,000 and a rare collection of coins to the Melton branch.
John Sherlock, who lived in Rosebery Avenue in the town, died in October and family members decided to make a gift to the Thorpe End branch where he spent many happy hours.
Committee members have given £500 of the money to the campaign led by Melton Town Estate and the Melton Times to enhance and upgrade the war memorial in the gardens of Egerton Lodge and the remainder is intended to be spent on local youth organisations.
The stunning coins, which are 24-carat and gold-plated and contained in two framed displays, are now being proudly displayed inside the club. They were issued to commemorate the organisation’s 90th anniversary. Mr Sherlock had gifted them to his relatives, the donors, some years ago.
Bob Wilson, chairman of the Melton RBL branch, said: “It is such a fantastic gift to this branch and to the people of Melton in particular.
“We have been tasked to look after this money and it was decided to give some of it towards the war memorial as it is such an important project.
“We are considering giving the rest of the money to Melton youth organisations such as the Scouts and the cadets and we would like to help individual youngsters where, perhaps, their family can’t afford to send them away on a camp.”
Mr Wilson said members were impressed with the coin collection, which was specially designed to honour the sacrifices made by generations of service personnel in conflicts.
“I think we may be the only branch in Leicestershire to have this collection so it is a very special thing for us,” he added.
In a letter to the Legion, Mr Sherlock’s relatives said they had made the donation as a legacy for him as a proud and loyal member.
It stated that John loved the Legion, its values and its people and that he had collected the coins over a period of 18 months.
The letter continued: “John was a loved man and we know of no more fitting ways of ensuring his most important values and beliefs are honoured than by presenting his local Legion branch with these gifts.”
A repatriation coin and a sum of money were also gifted, in Mr Sherlock’s memory, to Shane Mousley & Son Funeral Directors which handled his funeral. The money has been put to good use to help bereaved children.
Plans have been made to open the Melton branch of the Royal British Legion to the public every Tuesday morning, between 11am and 3pm, so the organisation’s collection of memorabilia and artwork can be viewed.
If the committee agrees to the idea, the sessions will begin next month, with refreshments available in the bar.