Former Duke of Wellington’s Regiment officer produces book for Captain Sir Tom Moore

A book of thanks for Captain Sir Tom Moore, from his former regiment, is being published to raise money for charity.

Thursday, 11th June 2020, 12:30 pm
Ben Walsgrove

The book contains over 500 photographs of ex-soldiers of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment taken during lockdown and some unique images of Captain Tom alongside some historical photos from the archives.

The initial 500 copies sold out within 48 hours of the website going live but now the print run is being increased to fulfil the incredible demand for the book.

Whilst being furloughed from his furniture making business, Ben Walsgrove, 51, from Nottingham, who served in the regiment from 1992 to 1995, invited ex-soldiers to run 5km, take a photo of themselves with an item of regimental memorabilia and donate £5 to NHS Charities Together.

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British World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore. Photo by Justin TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The idea was to then compile all the images in a one-off book to be presented to Captain Tom as a way of thanking the 100 year old for his extraordinary fundraising efforts.

The recently knighted Captain served in the 9th Battalion The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment during the Second World War.

Thanks to the power of social media word soon spread and within 2 weeks Ben had raised over £14,000 and had been sent more than 500 photographs of ex-soldiers of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment from around the world.

Ben said: “I couldn’t believe it when I realised Captain Tom and I had served in the same regiment and like the rest of the world I was moved by his 100 lap walk around the garden and the phenomenal amount of money he was raising.

“I immediately decided I wanted to help in some way so I invited old “Dukes” to donate to the just giving page after completing a 5km run or walk and to send me a fun photograph.

“However, I was not expecting the incredible response, the money and the photos just kept on coming and the overwhelming interest in the book meant I had to change my plans and make the book available to buy.”

The book titled “Once a Duke, Always a Duke” is now available to order for £14.95. All proceeds from sale will be shared between the Army Benevolent Fund and The Captain Tom Foundation.

Ben said: “One of the unexpected outcomes of the book is that it has re-united soldiers from across the globe during a time when many have struggled with isolation.

“The daily updates on social media of the soldiers in lockdown has been an inspiration and has meant that lost friendships have been re-kindled and old stories re-counted.

“One of the purposes of Captain Tom’s new foundation is to combat loneliness so I am delighted to have made a small difference already.”

The book is being designed and printed by Hart and Clough, a Yorkshire based firm with strong connections to the regiment and the website has kindly been created by Envious Digital.