Campaign to fundraise £250,000 begins to honour 'father of the modern British army' Sir John Moore

Watch a report on the life of Sir John Moore by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham.

A £250,000 fundraising campaign is underway to honour the life of the Lieutenant-General described as the 'father of the modern British army'.

Described by the Duke of Wellington as the 'greatest trainer of men', Sir John Moore died on January 16th 1809 in the Battle of Corunna.

On the anniversary of his death more than 200 years ago, the Shorncliffe trust has unveiled plans to purchase, restore and convert the Sir John Moore library into a permanent education centre.

The heritage building would be used to honour the life of Sir John Moore and to tell the story of countless other servicemen and women.

Sir John Moore died in the Battle of Corunna in 1809 Credit:

Trust Chairman, Chris Shaw told a special service on Sunday morning, "it's about remembering Sir John Moore's legacy and what he brought to the district"

Moore's career has led to a lasting legacy on Shorncliffe in Folkestone, Kent where he was brought in to mentor members British Light Infantry.

The soldier was behind modern defence methods such as the iconic Martello Towers, coastal forts based around the South East.

Moore was behind the creation of the Martello Towers Credit: ITV Meridian

"His philosophy, his education, is what he wanted to bring to soldiers, and Shorncliffe became that", said Chris Shaw.

"We had the junior junior leaders battalion here, we had the Army School of Education here down in Hythe, we had the school of musketry.

"His legacy is still felt today, and it's important that we remember."

A sentiment shared by Major Rajesh Kumar Gurung who is part of the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

"His legacy? That's how we began. He is our basically founder...he taught us from the very beginning

"Obviously without him, we wouldn't even exist today. And especially because gurkhas are linked to all the light infantry and also all the antecedent regiments like green jackets and all the things. We've basically followed the legacies."

Sir John Moore library which the Shorncliffe Trust wants to purchase and convert into an education centre Credit: Shorncliffe Trust

If the Shorncliffe Trust is successful in meeting its fundraising target, the Grade II listed building aims to bring generations together and to honour those, whose relatives live elsewhere.

The trust has strong bond with military ancestors in Canada with 60,000 troops stationed during World War One.

"Even though your loved one is far away, there are people that still care. And even this week we've had people from around Britain contact us who can't be here because of COVID, who can't travel south, that we have held a commemoration for them and their loved ones.

"And that's what the trust wants to do. That's what we want to use part of the library ito create a community space for everybody."