The William Aldridge Foundation

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Sun Military Awards (Millies) and A Night of Heroes...

Sun Military Awards 2010 - The Millies

The Sun Military Awards, where the Armed Forces' very best are saluted in a star-studded ceremony.

A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards, also known as The Millies, celebrates the bravery of the Armed Forces and awards military heroes who have made enormous sacrifices and have served their country with the highest distinction in the past year.

The award ceremony takes place at London’s Imperial War Museum in December and is broadcast by ITV.


Lucy Aldridge with Camilla Parker BowlesLucy Aldridge with Ross Kemp and Jeremy Clarkson

The awards categories are; Overcoming Adversity, Most Outstanding Sailor or Marine, Most Outstanding Soldier, Most Outstanding Airman, Best Reservist, Support to the Armed Forces, Life Saver, True Grit: Home, Best Unit and Judges Award for Special Recognition.

The judging panel is made up of General Sir Mike Jackson, General The Lord Guthrie, Admiral The Lord West, Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, Ross Kemp, Jeremy Clarkson, Dame Kelly Holmes, Katherine Jenkins, Rio Ferdinand, Andy McNab, Sally Thorneloe (widow of Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe), Nigel Whitehead (BAE Systems, sponsors) and Duncan Larcombe (Sun Defence Editor).

Lucy AldridgeFounder of the William Aldridge Foundation

NOMINEE: LUCY ALDRIDGE - Civilian support to the Armed Forces.

Press Release By: Rosie Dunn

Lucy Aldridge is the embodiment of courage and selfless devotion to the care of others – just like her young son Will who made the ultimate sacrifice serving on the frontline in Afghanistan. 
Rifleman Will had just turned 18 when he was fatally injured in a daisy chain of IED explosions on one of the blackest days in Britain’s recent military history. 
He remains the youngest soldier to be killed in the war and died as he rushed to help his stricken comrades. 
Showing bravery beyond his years and above the call of duty, Will tried to rescue injured pals blown up by an IED but got caught in a secondary blast which claimed his life. 
Despite her own crippling grief at his loss, Will’s mum Lucy decided to continue his outstanding dedication to others by setting up the William Aldridge Foundation in her son’s name. 
Lucy, 42, from Bredenbury, Herefordshire, said: “Will died as he had lived – trying to protect others. He gave his life trying to save his friends. 
“I can no longer help my son as he has gone but I can continue helping his comrades and their families as he would have wanted.” 
“The foundation is a continuation of Will - it is his amazing legacy and I am proud to run it in his memory." 
The foundation is a non profit organization set up as a ‘one stop shop’ providing help and support for servicemen and women or their families at their point of need. 
Lucy added: "Having lost Will, I know how hard it can be not just coming to terms with the death of a loved one but with trying to deal with all kinds of other practical or emotional issues.” 
“It can be so overwhelming and hard to find the right support when you are trying to cope with your own grief and having been through that I wanted to do something to really make a difference to those who need it.” 
The foundation aims to reach four core groups including serving members of the armed forces, military veterans, injured troops and bereaved military relatives who have lost soldiers in conflict. 
It hopes to help by providing a comprehensive link and database to all established military charities and organizations that offer support. 
Lucy said: “We are not just about raising the most amount of money. Our core strength is in supporting and promoting the organizations already out there who do so much to help people suffering.” 
“When times are really hard we want to be able to reach out and offer the help that our forces and all their loved ones require when they need it most. People need to know where they can get that support.” 
“Our main aim is to bring together the wider military community although we will also be raising money through special events for designated beneficiaries such as The RCDM MoD Patient Welfare Fund, Blesma and Will’s regiment The Rifles plus many more brilliant charities.” 
“I even threw myself out of an aeroplane recently to raise cash for one our supported groups – The Pilgrimbandits who support Forces Amputees!” 
“We want people to know about the amazing charities that already exist who really can help in the darkest of times.” 
“Our ethos is that charities who do such great work do not need to stand alone – we want to bring everyone together in a network for the greater good.” 
“By creating a hub of information easily accessible to all we hope to get that message through to people that help is there if you know where to find it.” 
The organization has helped Lucy to try and cut through her own sorrow and sadness at losing Will in July 2009. 
He was one of five soldiers serving in Afghanistan who made the ultimate sacrifice that day not far from their base at FOB Wishtan in lawless Helmand Province. 
A Taliban IED detonated killing one of his closest friends outright. Will was injured but survived the first blast and instead of taking shelter, displayed great bravery in trying to save other wounded comrades. 
Lucy said: “My son received face, leg and arm injuries in the first blast. He was blinded because of the burns and swelling to his eyes but despite that he carried on trying to help others.” 
“He assisted a field medic tending to the injured and even sat comforting an injured Major.” 
“His friends tell me that there was a lot of confusion and chaos, with people screaming and shouting in the aftermath of the blast but Will was apparently so calm and reassuring. They said he was fearless. 
He was the youngest soldier in Afghanistan telling everyone else that things would be okay.” 
“I am so proud of him because he showed the courage of a man that day, not a boy even though it was just 47 days after his 18th birthday." 
Still walking wounded, Will and his patrol tried to return to their base as they came under small arms fire. 
Within sight of the main entrance of their FOB, Will was caught in a second explosion during which he was mortally wounded. 
Medics tried to treat him in the field and at the base before he was airlifted to Camp Bastion for urgent medical attention. He hung on for another hour and a half until doctors reluctantly allowed him to drift away after a CT scan showed his injuries were not survivable. 
Lucy said: “Will fought to survive because I know he wanted to come home to us.” 
He died at 12 minutes past eight in the morning local time. 
“Everyone said he had been exceptionally brave for a young man on his first tour of duty and many of his colleagues have said he deserves a posthumous award for his courage and actions in trying to save others. 
He was a soldier who soldiered until his last breath.” 
“He always wanted to shoulder the burden of others’ suffering which is why his foundation is so important in helping those who come home mentally or physically scarred.” 
“I can’t do any more to look after Will now but I can continue to help his friends and colleagues in their hour of need – just as I know Will would have done if he was still here.” 
“My beautiful son never did anything for praise or kudos – he just wanted to help which is why the foundation in his name is so important.” 
“I am extremely humbled to be nominated for a Millie award because I am aware I share the company of such incredible young men and women from our armed forces.” 
“Where would we be if it were not for our amazing troops? Their sacrifice is massive not just to them but to their families too.” 
“The Millies are fantastic because they give that recognition to those who deserve it.” 
“They are going from strength to strength and it is indeed a great honour to be considered among such brilliant people.” 
“I am sure Will would be very proud of this and for what I am doing in his memory just as I am so proud of him as my son and for his chosen career path.”

William Aldridge Foundation


To donate by post please send a cheque/postal order to:

WILLIAM ALDRIDGE FOUNDATION, 6 Grendon Firs, Bredenbury, Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4TH

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  • An hounor to be part of this cause Read more...
    Written by ACENI TANUMI JNR
  • I did not have the pleasure of meeting you Will, but I have the pleasure of now counting your mum as... Read more...
    Written by Emma Crowley
  • Will altho i wasnt lucky enough to have met you, i have the upmost respect for you and the other tro... Read more...
    Written by Jedd Owen
  • This is Fab Lucy, Well Done To You & Zeta, Will Must be so proud of you both! Big Hugs Lucy!! x Read more...
    Written by
  • Will although I never had the honour of meeting you through your wonderful mum and brothers I feel a... Read more...
    Written by Rebecca Icke

The William Aldridge Foundation is a Not-For-Profit organisation.