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Ex-para returns to Falklands to raise funds for combat stress charity

Friday, January 22nd 2010 - 16:59 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Falklands’ veteran Tony Banks took part in Channel 4's “The Secret Millionaire”, living undercover in Liverpool with the homeless Falklands’ veteran Tony Banks took part in Channel 4's “The Secret Millionaire”, living undercover in Liverpool with the homeless

A Scottish Falklands’ veteran is to recreate the paratroops' famous march to Port Stanley in a bid to raise funds for an armed forces charity. Ex-para Tony Banks, who is from Dundee and has built up a £60m care home business, wants to raise more than £10,000 for Combat Stress.

The charity helps veterans traumatised by their wartime experiences, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Banks will return to the Islands for the first time since the war in 1982.

The 48-year-old millionaire and fellow Falklands’ veteran, Wayne Rees, will trek across the island and meet with Islanders who were caught up in the conflict.

The 50-mile venture will also mark the sacrifices of the 255 British soldiers who died.

In October last year Mr Banks, the founder and chairman of the Forfar-based Balhousie Care Group, took part in Channel 4's “The Secret Millionaire”, living undercover in Liverpool where he met Lee Sanger, a veteran of the Iraq War who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

At the end of his visit, Mr Banks donated £30,000 to Combat Stress.

Mr Banks said: “Those who serve in the armed forces never forget their wartime experiences and I watched several of my best friends die in the battles we fought in the South Atlantic.

”Fortunately I've been able to move on with my life but others have not been so fortunate.

“After filming 'The Secret Millionaire' I committed to support Combat Stress and do as much as I could to help them continue making a huge, positive difference to veterans suffering from mental illnesses like PTSD.”

During their time in the Falklands their journey will include travelling over the Sussex Mountains, before descending to the site of the Battle of Goose Green where the 2nd Para Regiment experienced fierce fighting with Argentine forces.

Banks added: “More British veterans have died from suicide after the Falklands Conflict than during it, which underlines the vital work which Combat Stress carries out.”

Trevor Royle, a Combat Stress trustee in Scotland and military historian, said: “At a time when the gulf between the armed forces and civilian society has widened, it's a tremendous boost to see supporters like Tony Banks doing so much to raise funds for Combat Stress and to help those ex-service personnel who have suffered as a result of their experiences.”

The ex-para also wants to find the owner of a bugle which came into his possession while he was serving there. He said: “When I was working as a prison handler, I had to put the Argentines on to their boats, making sure they left with nothing more than their clothes.

“One chap standing in line was holding a trumpet.

“I felt bad but I couldn’t let him take this away so I held on to it. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to reunite it with its rightful owner.”

To donate to the campaign in aid of the veterans’ charity, log on to www.justgiving.com/TonyBanks

Categories: Politics, Falkland Islands.

Top Comments

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  • ed

    i feel compassion and disgusting for them .
    becouse they are only the “”worker bees“ of their Queen.
    they can not make ”“w ”“ of war.
    these men from ”“ island country”“ has many masks
    not like any inner land country...spoiled..holigan flows !
    with their own decay grammared language !
    they have ”“ 10 years old kid brain”” not 11...
    the exploiter (kind)version of the human race !...

    Jan 23rd, 2010 - 02:42 am 0
  • tarzan

    I agree with Ed .. I'm football fan ( not holigan) I care only FIFA..UEFA..
    gauges ..... I do not care about Brussels gauges !..and other elses..

    UEFA recognize Scotland , Wales , N.Irlnd , Britishland
    as a independent seperately ..in that case they have to have only
    above named countries passports not UQ to enter into my country ..

    Jan 23rd, 2010 - 03:11 am 0
  • duran

    hola ! my Argentine countrymen..Ed you are right on your disgustion.
    Tarzan ! your determination very interesting and worthy..you say ::
    Britons are island (surrounding) men and can not make land war !?
    you are true..they can do only small battles ..becouse they have no
    land forces !.I am Europa originated too ..Europeans are sneaky and
    do not have global intelligence !Anglo Saxons' digressive perfusion is
    from the reason why Russians and Germany were (are) coward and
    slippery..in History Turks have - 412-- , Spanishs have - 362-
    wars in recorded ! both have most in land wars .

    Jan 23rd, 2010 - 04:47 am 0
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