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General's campaign to save churches

PUBLISHED: 09:30 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:43 30 June 2010

The former head of the British army is embarking on a new campaign by helping to preserve one of Norfolk's finest churches.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, who lives in Norfolk, will be giving a talk in Great Yarmouth on May 15 about his 40 years experience of serving Queen and country in aid of the town's St Nicholas Church Preservation Trust.

The former head of the British army is embarking on a new campaign by helping to preserve one of Norfolk's finest churches.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, who lives in Norfolk, will be giving a talk in Great Yarmouth on May 15 about his 40 years experience of serving Queen and country in aid of the town's St Nicholas Church Preservation Trust.

Money raised from the night will go towards restoring the organ and tower pinnacles at St Nicholas which dates back to 1101 and is the largest parish church in England.

Described as a coup for the trust, Gen Dannatt's talk will give an audience of 220 people an insight into life and demands of serving in the British army.

Gen Dannatt was commissioned into the Green Howards in 1971 and served seven tours with the 1st battalion in Northern Ireland and also with the UN in Cyprus.

He then rose through the ranks to take command of 4th Armoured Brigade, 3 UK Division, the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and became head of the army in 2006 until last year. He also served in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Gen Dannatt said: “I am delighted to be helping the country's largest parish church to raise funds for its restoration.

“On the evening I shall be talking about my forty years as a soldier - some good times, and some less good times - but it was a career I really enjoyed, and I would do it all again, if I could.”

Dr Paul Davies, chairman of the St Nicholas Preservation Trust said: “It is fantastic that Gen Dannatt is giving his time for free to support the organ and tower pinnacle at St Nicholas. We appreciate his time and support.”

The talk will take place in the Royal Assembly Rooms in Albert Square from 7pm. Tickets are provisionally priced at £12.

Tickets need to be booked in advance by calling Dr Davies on 01493 843647 or emailing paulpearce@yarmouth8143.freeserve.co.uk or by visiting www.sncpt.co.uk

The St Nicholas Church Preservation Trust has also organised a quiz in the Assembly Rooms on March 26 with teams of up to six people. It costs £5 per head.

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