THE mother of a tragic teenager who dreamed of joining the army has been inspired by his memory to set up a branch of a charity.
Claire Saunders is aiming to run the North Wales fundraising campaign for the charity which supports troops injured in Afghanistan.
The Rhostyllen mum said son Jack, who died after being swept out to sea from Blackpool promenade, would have backed her efforts on behalf of Welsh Warrior - the Richard Hunt Foundation.
Claire said: “The foundation does some fantastic work but is based in South Wales. I want to be its standard bearer in North Wales and raise as much money as I can for it.
“I know Jack would have approved of what I am doing because he dreamed of going into a military career.
“He was a member of the Army Cadets in Wrexham for many years and he wanted to eventually go into the Royal Marines because his grandad served in the Special Boat Squadron during the Second World War.”
Jack, 18, died on a weekend out at the resort last October.
Hundreds of people turned up for his emotionally-charged funeral at St Giles’ Church, Wrexham.
Welsh Warrior was set up in memory of Richard Hunt of Abergavenny, struck down by a roadside explosive device while serving with 2 Royal Welsh in Afghanistan last summer.
When he died from his injuries in Birmingham’s Selly Oak Hospital in August he became the 200th British soldier to lose their life in the conflict.
Claire said 50 of Jack’s many friends had held a special party for him at the Swan pub in Rhostyllen on what would have been his 19th birthday earlier this month.
One of his friends, 19-year-old Samantha Borthwick, will be taking part in the first Welsh Warrior fundraiser early next month.
Sam, who serves in the Royal Navy and met Jack at Army Cadets, will do a sponsored swim at Waterworld on Thursday, April 8.
She is aiming to complete 200 lengths in less than three hours and ideally to beat her own record for the distance of two hours and 14 minutes.
Claire is also working on details of a concert at Brymbo Cricket Club in July, proceeds from which will go to Welsh Warrior.
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