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Military charity 353 Trust works with Chapter to publish soldier’s diary account of serving in Afghanistan

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By Michael Feeley, Founder and chief exec

February 4, 2016 | 2 min read

The 353 Trust, a voluntary organization which supports a range of military charities, has been given permission to use the diary of Private C. Burtenshaw of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA), who served with Conrad Lewis – the 353rd British soldier to lose his life in conflict in Afghanistan and the inspiration for the trust.

The diary provides a true-life, brutally honest account of serving in Afghanistan.

February 9 marks the fifth anniversary of Conrad's death and Chapter has worked closely with 353 to turn into a ‘real time’ account posting each diary entry online on the day the events took place via a microsite.

Commenting on the work, Tony Lewis, father of Conrad and one of the founders of 353, said: “Chapter has helped us turn the diary into something really compelling. Obviously this was a difficult decision for us as a family as the diary depicts the day our son tragically gave up everything for this conflict. But this is a story that should be told because it is a simple and powerful reminder of what our soldiers do so that we can live normal lives.”

Dave Evans, head of digital at Chapter, said of the project: “The story was so strong we just wanted it to speak for itself and not overcomplicate the message. Daily posts were supported by content highlighting events from history that happened on the same day as well as links to a Spotify playlist where visitors could check out the fighting tunes of the men of 3 PARA at Checkpoint Qudrat, Helmand. Most importantly, everything was topped off with subtle yet strong calls to action, encouraging visitor donations. We’re very proud of this work for such an important cause.”

The 353 Diary can be seen at diary.353.org.uk

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