A GROUP of generous volunteers who happen to be worth a total of £90 million have donned their wellies and gardening gloves to build a path at a World War One memorial.
A total of 35 Lottery winners volunteered to put in some elbow grease and create the walkway for visitors at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.
They dug and raked for two days at the Shot at Dawn memorial, erected in memory of the 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers executed after being court martialled for “cowardice” and “desertion”.
The actual cause for their supposed offences has been re-attributed in recent times to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sue and Peter Brusby, originally from Beverley in East Yorkshire, said it was a pleasure to be able to give something back.
They would not have been involved in volunteering opportunities like this at the arboretum (tree garden), home to the national Armed Forces Memorial, if they had not won £1.4 million in 2005 because they would still be working and paying off their mortgage, they said.
Mr Brusby, 69, said helping to create the walkway was a personal experience for him because he served in the Royal Air Force for nearly 30 years. He joined as a boy entrant in 1960, aged just 15, and served until 1989 when he retired as a flight sergeant.
“It’s nice to be able to put something into it. It’s a marvellous place and it just brings back what sacrifices have been made, and I think we should put something into that,” he said.
Mrs Brusby, 64, said they have taken part in a few volunteer schemes and that it was satisfying to give something back following their windfall.
Gareth and Catherine Bull, who last year won nearly £41 million, said it was hard work but are pleased to have taken part.
It brought back memories for 41-year-old Mr Bull who was a builder before the lottery win.
He “quite enjoyed” getting his hands on a wheelbarrow and spade again and laughed as he said he was not tempted to go back to his former line of work.
Mrs Bull, 36, said it was a pleasure to be asked to help build the path.
“It’s quite powerful reading some of the plaques,” she said.
The couple live in the same home in Mansfield they were in before they won the lottery.
Sarah Montgomery, managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said she is grateful to the lottery volunteers for their help.
“Their work has been really helpful as part of our plans to welcome the increased numbers of visitors who will want to learn about the 1914-18 period,” she said.