Memorial bell fund for repatriation route reaches target

Lee Mackie Mrs Mackie said the campaign had been a "humbling experience"

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A group of fundraisers from Oxfordshire have reached their target to buy a memorial bell for the military repatriation route.

The bodies of killed service personnel are taken from RAF Brize Norton to The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

On Sunday a group of Royal Marines completed a 22-mile run along the route raising £1,700 which took the group past the £26,000 mark needed.

Lee Mackie, who started the campaign, said she was "absolutely delighted".

Mrs Mackie's son Jason was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 and she thought tolling a bell along the route would create a poignant atmosphere allowing people to stop and reflect.

The money has been raised in about four months with donations from the Witney Gazette, the Doris Field Foundation, West Oxfordshire District Council and members of the public.

Mrs Mackie said: "It's been such a humbling experience for me. People in this country get behind projects like this and suddenly from a little seed of an idea it comes to fruition."

The 644lb (292kg) bell will be installed in a tower opposite the memorial garden along the repatriation route at Norton Way.

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