Family amazed by generosity

Mick Thornton, Karen Thornton, Linzi Downes and Daniel Shorrocks and (below) Gunner Lee Thornton.
Mick Thornton, Karen Thornton, Linzi Downes and Daniel Shorrocks and (below) Gunner Lee Thornton.
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A FAMILY who raised almost £5,000 in memory of a soldier who died in Iraq say they are “absolutely amazed” by the level of support they have received.

Gunner Lee Thornton was fatally wounded while on patrol in Basra in 2006.

Gunner Lee Thornton

Gunner Lee Thornton

His family has since set to work raising money for military charities in his honour.

Lee’s mother, Karen, says she is overwhelmed by the amount people have donated after three separate fund-raising events this year.

A sponsored walk was taken on by a number of Lee’s friends and family, while two charity nights were held at Marton Institute and Ma Kellys.

A total of £4,887.33 has been raised for Blackpool community interest shop Supporting Our Brave, SSAFA Forces Help, and the Royal Artillery Charity Trust.

Mrs Thornton, 50, of Marton, said: “We’re just absolutely amazed at the generosity of people and how they’ve helped us get to the stage we’re at now.

“We hoped to raise £1,000 for each charity but even we thought that was a big ask.”

Lee died two days after he was wounded in a military hospital in Germany, surrounded by friends and family.

His brother Ryan, 25, and his friend 21-year-old Daniel Sharrocks have been heavily involved in the fund-raising effort.

Two of Mrs Thornton’s other sons, Sean, 21, and Jake, 19, are currently serving in the Army.

And she says she believes Lee would be delighted with their achievement.

She added: “He’d be really proud. We wanted to do something to make him proud and now we’ve got there.

“It’s lovely we’ve done so well.”

Ray Graham, unit manager at Supporting Our Brave, on Bank Hey Street, which raises funds and helps veterans, said he was grateful for the support.

He added: “It’s fantastic what Karen and her family have done.

“Lee’s memory lives on because of what they’re doing, but also because of his brothers who are serving.

“Karen’s been great in her support of us since we came into existence.”