Thursday 11th June  2015 was a very special day.  Not just because the shone shone making it the perfect English summer day, but it was also the day that I would represent DMWS at the Service of Remembrance for those killed in Afghanistan at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Prince Harry and other specially selected VIPs joined family and friends of the fallen, including current personnel and veterans, to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Bastion Memorial Wall was dedicated during the service. It features a cross made of shell casings that adorned the original memorial wall in Camp Bastion and that was blessed by the, Archbishop of Canterbury at the St Paul’s Cathedral commemoration service on 13 March.  The foundations of the memorial incorporate material from the original wall and the brass plaques brought back from theatre are encased within the new granite structure.

Having seen the wall for myself during my posting to Afghanistan, I think it is a fitting memorial which will allow a quiet place for families to come to remember their loved ones. It certainly provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the casualties and families I had supported during my deployment to Afghanistan and my subsequent posting to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham.

While attending the memorial, I was privileged to meet the family of Kingsman David Shaw again.  David passed away in January 2013 from injuries sustained in Afghanistan and his family were supported in Birmingham by DMWS Welfare Officers.

It was great to see them again and to hear that the support they received from us, helped them during what was a very difficult and stressful time.

An unforgettable day which I was extremely proud to be a part of.

Published: 19th June, 2015
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