Senior Defence politicians, members of the military of all ranks, celebrities, and beneficiaries alike came together to mark the five year anniversary of the Lt. Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust (DDMT) with a wonderful party hosted at the House of Commons by Michael Ellis MP and the DDMT.
Seen below are L to R: Anthony Dalzell, (father of Dougie and DDMT Treasurer), Jo Corlett (Trustee and inspiration behind the event), Michael Ellis MP (Sponsor) and Michael Fallon MP (Defence Secretary)
(Photos by kind permission of Henry Hunt)
Guests included Michael Fallon MP, Defence Secretary; Mark Francois MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces; Rory Stewart OBE MP, Chair of the Defence Select Committee and Zac Goldsmith MP who also kindly donated the chance to have tea with him at the House of Commons to the evening’s silent auction. Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, GCB, CBE, DSO, Patron of the Trust and his wife Lady Richards were also in attendance, in addition to a huge number of high ranking members of the military; among them General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB, CBE, ADC: Chief of the Defence Staff of the British Armed Forces, General Sir Michael Jackson GCB, CBE, DSO; Former CGS and President ABF – The Soldier’s Charity, Lt-General Sir David Leakey CMG, CBE, Black Rod and Coldstream Regimental Lt Col: Brigadier Greville Bibby CBE.
Seen below are Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, (DDMT Patron), his daughter, Jo (Trustee) Michael Ellis (Sponsor), Frankie Vero (wife of Trustee Geoffrey) and Sir Mike Jackson (President The Soldiers' Charity - ABF)
Tom Hollander and Kate Silverton, avid supporters of the DDMT who have read lessons during the Trust’s annual Christmas Carol Service, were amongst those also on hand to mark this special milestone but even more important than the various celebrities in attendance were representatives from the multitude of charities to whom the DDMT has donated over the course of the past five years, among them; the Armed Forces Fund, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, Battle Back Golf, Bike Tours for the Wounded, Flying For Heroes, Soldiers in Mind and Military Matters.
Heartfelt speeches were made by the Minister for the Armed Forces, Mark Francois MP; the Trust’s patron, Lord Richards of Herstmonceux; Sponsor, Michael Ellis MP; Trustee Geoffrey Vero, and Nikki Lester of Soldiers in Mind, who described how truly transformative the Trust’s donations have been in enabling them to support 27 families (135 individuals) of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Lord Richards of Herstmonceux on the role of small military charities described how they “can focus their energy and resources in niche and very deserving areas that the big charities often miss…and, some, including the DDMT, play a key role in directly supporting the work of HMG and the armed forces, the troops themselves but just as importantly their families who often shamefully get missed.”
Lt Dougie Dalzell’s mother Colette, father Anthony, brother Angus and sister Olivia stood alongside Trust supporters and soldiers, undoubtedly proud of the enormous impact their son’s legacy has had on the lives of hundreds of British soldiers. After the evening’s overwhelming success, there will no doubt be many similar celebrations and new causes to support in the DDMT’s future.