Some of those helped by the Newark Patriotic Fund and their loved ones. From left, Christine Bellringer wife of Ken, Leigh Darrington, ex of the Grenadier Guards and who served in Iraq, Ken Bellringer, Michelle and Nick Davis, Rob Jackson, again of the Grenadier Guards who did a tour of Iraq and three of Afghanistan, his wife Caz and father-in-law, Andy Price, who used to be a military policeman, and Rob's mother Teresa Doyle.

There were rousing renditions of Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and the National Anthem as the Newark Patriotic Fund celebrated ten years of helping the Advertiser area's military heroes with a ball that included a mini-prom.

Many of the 272 guests - a record for the annual ball - got to their feet to join in with the hymns and waved Union Flags while even some of the waiters and waitresses at the ball at Newark Showground joined in with the National Anthem while clearing the dinner service away.

Many of those who have received assistance from the Newark Patriotic Fund were there on Saturday night to help share in its achievements.

David Newson, an attendee of the ball, waving the Union Flag.
David Newson, an attendee of the ball, waving the Union Flag.

They included bomb-disposal expert Warrant Officer Ken Bellringer, who was given just a 10%-20% chance of surviving the loss of both legs, both thumbs, a finger and a shattered pelvis in a blast in Afghanistan.

They included Nick Davis, who was the inspiration behind the setting up of the fund after he was blown up by an IED in Afghanistan in 2007 while clearing a Taliban compound and Damian Mackenzie who served three tours of Afghanistan as a combat medic with 2 Mercian.

Damian Mackenzie in Afghanistan
Damian Mackenzie in Afghanistan

Mr Davis, of the Grenadier Guards, who woke up from the injuries he sustained to find then Newark MP Patrick Mercer at the foot of his bed and from where the idea for the fund was hatched. Mr Davis was the guest speaker at the event.

Beauty queen

One of the most poignant moments of the night was when the final auction lot went under the hammer.

It was a dress worn by beauty queen Alicia Loveday in the final of Miss Great Britain, as Miss Nottingham, to honour her uncle, Corporal Ivano 'Sean' Violino who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007 when an IED went off under the vehicle he was travelling in.

Alicia modelled the dress and was accompanied by her sister Kirsten.

Caz Jackson, Alicia Loveday and auctioneer and fund trustee John Coles auctioning off Alicia's dress.
Caz Jackson, Alicia Loveday and auctioneer and fund trustee John Coles auctioning off Alicia's dress.

The story of how the lot came to be up for sale immediately prompted a donation of £100 from Falklands War veteran Ian Willis, an ex-Royal Marine.

With some cajoling from auctioneer and patriotic fund trustee John Coles, the dress sold for £400, so £500 in total.

Kirsten and Alicia Loveday, nieces of the fallen Corporal Ivano 'Sean' Violino. Alicia is currently representing the Midlands in this year's finals of Miss Supermodel England.
Kirsten and Alicia Loveday, nieces of the fallen Corporal Ivano 'Sean' Violino. Alicia is currently representing the Midlands in this year's finals of Miss Supermodel England.

The highest-selling auction lot was an overnight stay at The Stratford 5-star luxury hotel in St James in London that went for £625 while a Vulcan Bomber flight simulation went for £275.

Guest speaker Corporal Nick Davis
Guest speaker Corporal Nick Davis

Care and support needed

In his speech, Mr Davis spoke of what happened to him, of how important charities such as the patriotic fund were in plugging gaps in mainstream care and support and how that care and support was needed on an ongoing basis.

He spoke of his own struggles since being injured, not just in battling back from life-altering injuries in losing a leg, but of the amount of surgeries he has had - would need in the future - and of an addiction to prescription painkilling drugs.

"I'm getting through slowly but surely," he said.

"The support we get from charities like the Newark Patriotic Fund helps us better move forward positively."

In introducing Mr Davis, the chairman of the fund, Keith Girling, ex of the Grenadier Guards and who co-funded the charity with Mr Mercer, praised its work over the past ten years and thanked all of those who have supported it in that time.

Newark Patriotic Fund chairman Keith Girling
Newark Patriotic Fund chairman Keith Girling

Entertainment was provided by 1940s singer Jayne Darling and Ratpack singer Matt Shephardson, from Balderton.

Singers Matt Shephardson and Jayne Darling, and Jayne Mason, from the fund.
Singers Matt Shephardson and Jayne Darling, and Jayne Mason, from the fund.

There was a casino night, a raffle and dancing.

Casino night
Casino night
Newark Patriotic Fund secretary Mac Mallard, from Balderton, who was formerly a Sherwood Forester.
Newark Patriotic Fund secretary Mac Mallard, from Balderton, who was formerly a Sherwood Forester.
Tony and Sally Wise at the ball.
Tony and Sally Wise at the ball.