Posted by: Sam Olsen | June 21, 2012

Hong Kong’s Help for Heroes

Hong Kong’s Brit-plus community turned out in force last night for a fund-raising dinner for the Help for Heroes charity. And what a great night it was. Apart from the keynote speech from General Sir Mike Jackson, former Chief of the General Staff and someone I have met over a pleasant beer on a few occasions, we were honoured to have Bryn Parry, the founder of H4H, onstage too.

Despite having raised an astounding £137 million since it was founded less than 5 years ago (can any charity have raised so much since its start?) there is still a lot more to do. H4H has moved on from providing swimming pools and other facilities for the rehabilitation of wounded servicemen to now wanting to help the injured for life. The fact that there are over 400 H4H fundraising events each week must only be good news for this aspiration.

H4H dinners always seem to end up at an angle

And how some of these men – and the occasional woman – are injured. Terri Judd, the Independent’s defence correspondent, told us at a Guinea Club dinner a few years ago that she had personally counted over 60 amputations in a three-month assignment to Afghanistan. Indeed, Bryn Parry mentioned that for every death there are 5 injured. This makes quite a few wounded servicemen when you think of how many British soldiers have died in the last decade: 179 in Iraq and 417 in Afghanistan, including Cpl Jack Stanley from the Queen’s Royal Hussars, one of my Regiment’s most popular soldiers.

Hong Kong society, it appears, is not happy to watch all this without helping. The last couple of annual Help for Heroes dinners here have raised an astonishing £500,000. We saw how last night. After his speech, General Sir Mike announced a reverse auction of his autobiography (worth £10). Within literally a minute 10 copies had been sold for $45,000 each. Absolutely astounding. The auction continued in this vein for a long part of the night, the bidding eased by the free-flowing wine and the excellence of the prizes – such as the original Penny Black stamp that the famous philately company Stanley Gibbons had donated.

All in all it was a great night. It is not often that the worthiness can match the entertainment.


(Please remember to donate





  1. And I’d like to add I was very proud to see my own Hero with his medals on that night – not many on show so made it all the more impressive.

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