War veteran losing his locks for a good cause

The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Memorial is taking shape
The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Memorial is taking shape

A King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry veteran will shave his locks off for a cause close to his heart.

Tickhill's Gary Dickinson will donate the money made by the shave to a memorial in Doncaster for the work he and his colleagues did in the infantry.

He isn't too worried about his hair - it's the moustache that Mr Dickinson thinks he will regret losing on May 6 at Tickhill Cricket Club.

The Beech Road resident has had it for almost 50 years.

"My son is 45, and he's never seen me without it," Mr Dickinson said.

His sons are getting in on the act, too. John, 45, will lose the beard, and 42-year-old Justin will have his head shaved for the cause.

The family anticipate plenty of support - and thus plenty of pounds raised - on the night.

There have been numerous offers to pay to shave Mr Dickinson's moustache. One man offered to pay £200 for the privilege, Mr Dickinson said.

"But talk's easy," he said.

A signed England football shirt is up for grabs in a raffle, along with bottles of spirits.

A band, Daybreak, will play tunes from the 1950s and 60s for punters.

Tickets cost £10 each. They are available from Gary, Justin and the cricket club.

To buy a ticket, phone Gary on 01302 745 245.

Mr Dickinson was a corporal in the infantry, serving in Aden, Berlin, Malaya and Northern Ireland in the late 1960s.

He said he didn't see much action.

"I saw shots fired in Aden and Belfast," he said.

"It was exciting at the time."

The memorial committee needs another £16,000 to get the statue built.

Donations co-ordinator Percy Potts said the money had slowed down a bit.

"It's tailed off," he said.

The memorial is taking shape, and Mr Potts was pleased with it.

"It looks absolutely magnificent," he said.

The Leeds branch of the Regimental Association will host another fundraiser on April 1 at Wakefield.

The memorial will be unveiled on August 1, 2018.

It's a special day for the infantry: It's Minden Day, and the 50th anniversary of the infantry being renamed the 2nd Battalion Light Infantry.