Operation Braveheart


It is over a year now since soldier Daniel Coffey was killed serving in Iraq, but for his family and local community the wounds are still fresh.

The teenage members of heavy metal group Hailing Star, based in his home town of Cullompton, Devon, are friends with his younger brother, Ryan.

They wrote their rock elegy Lost Heroes after seeing how Daniel's death had affected him.

They now hope to record and release the single for charity. All of us were just so upset about it, we know Ryan was really close to his brother

Taking a break from rehearsal in a local church hall, lead singer and song writer Elliot Alderman-Broom, 15, said the song was written to "show people how bad war is".

He said: "The whole time we were writing it, we were trying to picture Ryan and the feelings of him and his family.

"All of us were just so upset about it, we know Ryan was really close to his brother. These families don't deserve it."

Daniel Coffey, of the Second Battalion The Rifles, was 21 when he was fatally wounded in Iraq in February 2007. He had been protecting fellow soldiers from an ambush by gunmen in Basra and was buried with full military honours in Cullompton.

His grandfather, David Godfrey, 65, has since started the charity Operation Braveheart to raise money for injured service personnel and their families.

"I'm just trying to make sense of the terrible grief that my family feels and turn it into something positive," he said.

He described Lost Heroes as an "awesome" song. The lyrics include: Another lost hero/who dies for us all/out on the battlefield/heeding the call.

He said: "The sentiment speaks volumes: lost heroes. Every man and woman that we've lost in Iraq and Afghanistan are just that, lost heroes."

The band is now hoping to release their song in aid of Operation Braveheart.

"It will spread awareness to everyone else that doesn't know that much about the charity", said Hailing Star's drummer, 16-year-old Matt Gillard.

Bass player Helen Tytherleigh, also 16, agreed.

She said: "I'd like maybe to send a copy or two to the troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, just so they know what we're doing."

There are plans to head into a recording studio, which has provided its services free of charge, over the next few weeks.

Tapping his foot along enthusiastically at the rehearsal, David Godfrey said even though heavy metal was not his kind of music, he would like to think Lost Heroes would get somewhere.

He said: "It has a great impact, certainly on your ear drums; but, my goodness me, it beats out that message."

Charity Website http://www.operation-braveheart.org.uk/

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