PPA Memorial Fund

PPA Memorial Fund logo

Nearly £75,000 raised since 2003.
Thank you!

The PPA Memorial Fund is all about maintaining all parts of the Memorial to PPA in perpetuity – the main PPA Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum, the Wixoe Memorial to Popski and Pamela, where they are both buried, and this information, support and fundraising memorial website. In addition the Fund pays for our annual PPA Remembrance Events. Friends of PPA relies on the generous support of individuals and organizations to do all this, and there are several ways in which you can contribute :–

1. Donate online

You can make an online donation here, to support our work, by debit or credit card in any currency, through PayPal's secure facilities. Payments will appear in your accounts as "FRIENDSPOPS". Don't forget to tell us who you are making your remembrance donation for: PPA generally, a PPA veteran, or someone very closely connected with PPA. All contributions are recognised on the PPA Wall of Remembrance.

To make a donation to the PPA Memorial Fund, click on the DONATE button below to pay in your own currency via PayPal...

PayPal automatically notifies us when you've made a payment to the foPPA account. PayPal securely handles all the personal details and foPPA has no access to them. Thank you for your support: it is greatly appreciated!

2. Buy stuff from the foPPA Shop

PPA books, badges, wreaths and more are all available from the foPPA Shop, payable as above by PayPal or by cheque as below.

3. Set up a Standing Order

This is our favourite as it guarantees a steady, reliable, income flow. It would only take 50 people sending us £20 every year (or 20 people sending us £50 a year!) to cover our basic ongoing costs. If you would like to set up a Standing Order then please get in touch and we'll send you the appropriate form. We use Standing Orders (not Direct Debits) so that you remain in control of your banking arrangements with foPPA. (Please note that Standing Order Forms should be given to your own bank, not sent back to foPPA).

4. Donate by cheque

If you would like to make a donation by cheque (UK Sterling only) then please make it out to "PPA MEMORIAL FUND", and send it to us at :–

3b Glendower Place
South Kensington

Please do not send us cheques in any other currency as our bank currency conversion charges are very expensive for small amounts.

4. Leave a legacy

Remembering the Friends of PPA in your will is a way to ensure a lasting memorial to your connection with Popski's Private Army. All legacy donations, whatever their size, make a valuable contribution to foPPA's work – keeping the Popski story alive for future generations.

Remembrance collections and Official foPPA Fundraisers

Please note that foPPA never solicits money by "cold" phone-calls, doorstep visits or street-collectors.
Anyone doing this and claiming to represent Popski's Private Army, foPPA, the PPA Memorial Fund or anything similar
should be reported to us immediately.

We are always "rattling the tin" at our PPA Remembrance Events, and it's always great to have that personal touch on the day, but this sadly does not produce nearly enough income each year to cover what we do.

In 2013 we decided to authorise a small number of Official Fundraisers, as we realised that there is tremendous enthusiasm amongst Popski fans all over the world to help out with our fundraising. These are Popski fans who attend events like Military Vehicle Fairs, displaying their authentic reproduction PPA Jeeps and other related vehicles.

Official Fundraisers are issued with a foPPA Fundraising Authorisation Certificate for display at their events, valid for that calendar year, backed up by their name and relevant photos appearing here. They also display a copy of the PPA Story, from the PPA Memorial, as well as other information and photos about Popski and his unit. If there is no certificate displayed or their name doesn't appear here in the Register of Official foPPA Fundraisers, then they are not collecting for the PPA Memorial Fund.

If you would like to become an Official foPPA Fundraiser then just get in touch, and if you are accepted then we'll supply you with our Official Fundraiser Pack including Authorisation Certificate, foPPA Badges, Lanyards, special graphics and other useful items to help your efforts for us.

FoPPA's Official Fundraisers are all listed below, and we make collections at our PPA Remembrance Events. We only ever send fund-raising letters and emails to people who are already in contact with us and whose details are held in the foPPA contacts database by permission, and this information is not shared, without permission, with any other organisation for any purposes whatsoever, with the sole exception of the PPA Preservation Society, foPPA's close research partner.

Register of Official foPPA Fundraisers for 2017

PPA Preservation Society Assenede, Belgium
Kevan Bowen Moses Lake WA, USA

Our first Official Fundraiser in Europe is the PPA Preservation Society, our long-standing colleagues from Belgium who are continuing to build up their great collection of Italy-pattern PPA vehicles.

Kurt van Looke's PPA Jeep PPAps Certificate
Kurt van Looke's PPA Jeep PPAps Certificate

Our first Official Fundraiser in the USA is Kevan Bowen from Washington State, with his North Africa-pattern PPA Jeep.

Kevan Bowen and son with their PPA Jeep Kevan Bowen's PPA Jeep
Kevan Bowen and son with their PPA Jeep Kevan Bowen's PPA Jeep
Kevan Bowen's Popski Display Boards Kevan Bowen's Certificate
Kevan Bowen's Popski Display Boards Kevan Bowen's Certificate

How much has foPPA raised, where has it come from and where has it gone?

FoPPA is a non-profit organisation, not registered as a charity, and because of this we cannot reclaim VAT on our expenditure, and certain organisations cannot donate money to us. Our annual expenditure is split into Base Costs and Project Costs. Base Costs are mainly about our rolling commitment to PPA Remembrance Events, while Project Costs are spent on more occasional items like new plaques. To pay these costs, since formation in 2003 foPPA has raised nearly £75,000 from the sources below (amounts rounded for clarity) :-

Funding Source Amount
2003-2005 Friends of PPA donations £2,000
2005 National Lottery Heroes Return Fund Grant £16,370
2006 Friends of PPA donations £670
2007 Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Charitable Trust Grant[1] £2,000
2007 Friends of PPA donations and interest £12,120
2008 Friends of PPA donations and interest £7,195
2009 Janus Publishing, Royalties on Ben Owen's book £855
2009 Friends of PPA donations and interest £545
2010 Trooper Pat Blake Memorial Grant £5,940
2010 Friends of PPA donations and interest £350
2011 Trooper Pat Blake Memorial Grant £1,200
2011 Friends of PPA donations and interest £3,210
2011 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Annual Grant £1,000
2012 Friends of PPA donations and interest £1,610
2012 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Wixoe Memorial Grant £565
2012 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Annual Grant £1,000
2013 Friends of PPA donations and interest £2,170
2013 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Annual Grant £1,000
2014 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Wixoe Memorial Grant £5,000
2014 Friends of PPA donations £1,620
2014 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Annual Grant £1,000
2015 Friends of PPA donations £1,375
2015 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Annual Grant £1,000
2016 Friends of PPA donations £1,335
2016 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Annual Grant £1,000
2017 Friends of PPA donations £tbc
2017 Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust Annual Grant £1,000
Total £73,130

The Gerry Holdsworth Grant was given to us for interviewing PPA veterans and sharing the recordings with the Imperial War Museum. The Trooper Pat Blake Grant is all accounted for by the development of this website and three new plaques for the PPA Memorial. About £12,000 of the Heroes Return Grant was spent on the trip to Ravenna and Venice and the National Lottery kindly allowed us to keep the remaining £4,000 (excess because some PPA veterans had to drop out at the last minute) – this was then mostly spent on printing and posting Astrolabe Newsletters 4 and 5. Of the Friends' donations, £20,000 was spent on the construction of the PPA Memorial and the unveiling event, while most of the rest has been spent over the years on printing and posting the annual invitations.

We are very grateful for the kind 2011 decision of the Trustees of the Pamela Matthews Charitable Trust to support foPPA's annual Base Costs to the tune of £1,000 a year for the foreseeable future. In addition the number of Friends who have set up Standing Orders has been steadily growing, and this now guarantees us over £700 per year.

Why does foPPA still need money, now that the PPA Memorial has been unveiled?

This question was raised, quite reasonably, a year after the unveiling in 2008. We are very aware of, and grateful for, the financial sacrifices that everyone made for the PPA Memorial, letting us achieve the one main project that we originally set out to do, but fundraising for the PPA Memorial Fund doesn't just stop with the unveiling and dedication of the Memorial itself.

First, we would like to build up a reserve to be able to maintain it in perpetuity. Secondly, we still have the annual running costs of organising the PPA Remembrance Events at Wixoe Church, Westminster Abbey and the National Memorial Arboretum. Thirdly we have the running costs of hosting, maintaining and developing this website, a part of the Memorial, and fourthly there are further memorial projects that we would like to do. These are all discussed and explained below.

PPA Memorial Maintenance

The Grove is vulnerable to flooding (up to 4 feet we have found) and wind and, although that was taken into account in the construction of the PPA Memorial and in the choice of plants, this will inevitably have an effect, year after year: there is a small but steady drain on funds to keep replacing the plants. The memorial itself is currently uninsured and vulnerable to vandalism and theft, as a public pathway runs right alongside the Grove. Although we have now taken over the general gardening work at the PPA Memorial we still have to contribute to the maintenance of the grove around it. In 2017 we shall be looking at having a survey of the Portland Stone facing done, probably leading to some replacement and definitely complete regrouting to make all the joints weather-proof again.

Remembrance Event Administration

The three annual PPA Remembrance Events involve: printing and postage for invitations and event information to about 300 people; replacing weather-damaged remembrance name-cards, crosses and wreaths; fees and donations to the Royal British Legion's Poppy Factory for the Special Forces plot at Westminster itself, and a certain amount of travel and accommodation costs.

PPA Veterans' Funerals

Sadly, all known PPA veterans have now stood down, the last in early 2016. Over the years we have tried to make sure that PPA is represented at every funeral. We haven't always succeeded, but most of the time we have been able to honour the man, lay a PPA Poppy Wreath and support the family. This involves a donation to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and often travel and accommodation costs.

The foPPA Website

The initial development of the foPPA website was funded by the Trooper Pat Blake Memorial Grant. This got us up and running but there is an annual webserver hosting fee (halved in 2014 by a technical rethink). There are also several annual Popski domain name registration fees.

Other Memorial Projects

With the kind and generous help of Pamela's Trustees and members of the Wixoe Parochial Church Council, on 17 May 2014 we unveiled and dedicated The Wixoe Memorial to Popski and Pamela. This was the last of our major memorial projects.

In 2015 we mounted Operation Poppy, to lay a PPA Poppy Wreath at all 15 PPA graves for the fallen in Italy and Austria. Most of the travel and accommodation costs were not charged to foPPA but there was of course a substantial payment to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

In addition there is all the research, database and graphic work necessary to catalogue and load foPPA Archive photos and documents up to the website: we should very much like to spend some time working with our colleagues at the PPA Preservation Society and the Special Forces Roll of Honour to systematically put names and places to the hundreds of photos that we have between us.


It is for all these reasons that we have set up this website, with this PayPal donation page and the foPPA Shop, to make it easier for everyone to donate, ensuring a reliable flow of income for the long-term future of PPA Remembrance. Meanwhile, thank you all very much for your continuing support which is helping us to ensure that the memory of Popski and the PPA veterans shall not just fade away.

Copyright © 2017 foPPA
27 June 2017

Further information
  1. ^ Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Holdsworth RNVR DSO was the SOE officer in charge of operations for Italy after Sicily. He worked from the special-operations base "Maryland" (named after his wife) at Monopoli in Southern Italy, organising agent and weapon drops to partisans in Italy, Greece and Yugoslavia. On at least one occasion PPA helped SOE to load the parachute containers.