Royal Marine tribute by Union J on X Factor

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By Prue_Reid | Saturday, November 10, 2012, 10:22

X Factor star George Shelley and his band Union J are dedicating their song this week as part of Best Of British Week to his brother Will, who is in the Royal Marines. 

The singer's brother Will Shelley is a Royal Marine Commando, currently based in Wales.

Will has served in Afghanistan but is now back home in Clevedon on leave.

Details of the song are a closely guarded secret but it is being performed on the eve of Remembrance Sunday as a tribute to all servicemen and and women past and present.

George said: "This week we're dedicating our song to everyone who has fought and is fighting for our country because we feel that the Armed Forces are one of the best things about Britain."

The television show is more than halfway through and there has been some hairy moments for the four-strong boy band which has seen them in the bottom two and then another week they have been the first name announced as through to the next round.

The 19-year-old singer/guitarist is building on a huge following from North Somerset schools and colleges and no wonder because he went to lots.

George started nursery at Happy Hours, Nailsea, moved to Backwell Infant School before going to primary schools in Nailsea and Clevedon.

Then he went to comprehensive in Burnham and Cheddar before completing his foundation course at Weston College and then on to Bath Spa for a degree in graphic design.

Mum Toni said: "The theme of this weekend is Best Of British" George and Union J feel they would like to show the nation there respect for the armed forces on Remembrance weekend. 

"They hope all Royal Marines, soldiers and there familys will appreciate it. 

"George has a special place in his heart for the Royal Marines as his brother is a serving Royal Marine commandoes."

Weston College graphic design department students have made a huge banner in support of their former classmate.

George completed a BTEC extended diploma in graphic design at the college and auditioned for the show shortly afterwards. 

Toni took another poster made by fans from The Barn youth centre at Clevedon to the show but producers decided it was too big to be waved in the audience!

George got through the preliminary rounds but was ejected from the show's Boot Camp phase.

However, judge Louis Walsh intervened and asked him to join the three-piece Triple J.

The group were at the judges' houses stage, so George travelled to Las Vegas to meet the rest of the band. 

They hit it off, changed their name to Union J and have wowed audiences ever since, attracting an army of fans not only in the UK but also in the US.

George said: "It was stressful coming in the bottom two last weekend but we survived and we worked really hard towards this week's show – so hard, in fact, that I've got a sore throat.

"We've so much support around the UK, but it's essential we get our home towns and places we're connected with behind us."

Weston College head of faculty for creative arts Sarah Clark said: "We wish George and the band the best of luck."

George comes from a musical family and his mum often sang her own material at the Priddy Folk Festival.

Maternal granddad Dave, a retired Bristol policeman lives with wife Ann at Weston-super-Mare, is still performing gigs despite his 75 years notably at Burnham Acoustics Club.

Big brother Tom, 29, who lives in Australia and works as a builder also plays drums with a band which released a single this week.

Sister Harriet, 16, is still studying for her A-levels also at Weston College.

Union J is currently fifth favourites in the betting stakes with odds offered at 25-1.

Clevedon People will post the voting numbers after the show later this evening.

Clevedon People support George Shelley and Union J.



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