Norwegians get involved with King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Appeal in Doncaster

More donations have been made to get a King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Memorial in Doncaster
More donations have been made to get a King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Memorial in Doncaster

Overseas benefactors have become involved in a fundraising campaign to have a King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Memorial installed in Doncaster.

The Norwegian government has chipped in £8,000 towards the cost of the statue, renewing ties with the regiment which date back to World War II, when they took part in the ill-fated Norwegian Campaign which claimed many KOYLI soldiers’ lives.

Donations co-ordinator Percy Potts wrote to the Norwegian embassy in London.

“Asking if they would care to make a donation, bearing in mind the connection between the connection between the KOYLI and the Norwegian campaign,” he said.

The Norwegian Ministry of Defence wrote back, confirming it would donate.

The ministry said the Doncaster monument would be a ‘visual symbol of liberation in Europe and an important reminder of the values of peace’.

“We are ever grateful for the support the soldiers of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry gave to the defence of Norway during World War II.”

Mr Potts and the appeals committee was thrilled with the donation.

“This generous donation from the people of Norway comes at a much needed time and means that our target to complete the entire appeal, including dedication costs, is only £4,366,” he said.

“It’s a sum that should easily be achieved.”

The West Yorkshire Freemasons have also donated to the appeal, giving £1,000. Mr Potts said the support from the organisation had been ‘tremendous’.

The two organisations have enjoyed a long history.

“In the 17th and 18th centuries, the KOYLI formed three military masonic lodges,” Mr Potts said.

"These no longer exist, but within West Yorkshire Freemasonry, there does exist tremendous support for our military in general, and for this Yorkshire regiment in particular."