NEXT month it will be three years since paratrooper Conrad Lewis from Claverdon was killed by a sniper’s bullet in Afghanistan.
His tragic death at the age of 22 and the memories it leaves behind will stay with his family and loved ones forever but they’ve resolutely stated that Conrad’s life will not be forgotten and he would have wanted people to carry on with their lives.
The family have since founded the charity set up in his honour, called ‘353’ - Conrad was the 353rd soldier killed in action in Afghanistan.
To mark the anniversary of his death, local band The Big Secret Sound, featuring singer-songwriter Andrew James, from Stratford-upon-Avon, will release their second single called Soldier On, on February 9th 2014, in memory of Conrad.
Proceeds from sales of the single go to ‘353’ which aims to help members of the military community.
The band say Soldier On is the embodiment of moving forward after loss and urges people to get busy living and celebrate life to the full and is inspired by the life and loss of Private Conrad Lewis of the Parachute Regiment.
It’s written by Chris Onslow from Stratford, who as the father of one of the great circle of close friends to Conrad and his family, was driven to put into words what Conrad’s spirit means to all of them.
In a sense it’s meant to convey, “I’m still here with you” as Chris belie-ves that’s what Conrad would have wanted people to feel rather than wrap themselves in grief.
Conrad’s father, Tony Lewis said: “I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support shown to us at 353 and by The Big Secret Sound.
“I understand that all we need is 7,500 downloads and Soldier On would make the Top 40, that would raise much needed funds for the charity and help to recognise all our brave troops whether in the army, navy, air force or any of our serving forces around the world.
“On behalf of 353 trust, my family would like to thank Andrew James and Chris Onslow for giving their creativity, time and commitment to produce such a breathtaking song.
“I know Conrad would download it if he could,” he added.
There’s a charity ball planned at Warwick School on Saturday 8th February featuring former Status Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with money raised going to ‘353’ and the following day Soldier On is released to the public.
To date 447 armed forces servicemen and women have lost their lives in combat in Afghanistan.
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