Remembering the Falklands heroes
HUNDREDS of serving soldiers and veterans gathered in Aldershot on Sunday (June 18) to mark the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War.
Paratroopers and other soldiers representing the airborne units that make up today's 16 Air Assault Brigade travelled from their base in Colchester for the commemorations.
The 'drumhead' service at Aldershot Military Cemetery was a traditional Army field service.
They were joined for two special events by veterans who had served in the Army's parachute regiments during the many years they were based in Aldershot.
The first event was a ceremonial drumhead service at Aldershot Military Cemetery, a traditional army field church service using the regimental drums as an altar.
The service was held at the site of 18 graves of soldiers who died in the Falklands War.
The cemetery is the resting place of 18 soldiers who fell during the fight to regain the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic from invading Argentinian forces in 1982.
Among them is Sergeant Ian McKay of the Third Battalion, Parachute Regiment, who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in the battle of Mount Longdon.
Hundreds of veterans from Aldershot's former parachute regiments attended the service.
The service also paid homage to 46 airborne soldiers who died in the war.
It was presided over by Reverend David Cooper, himself a veteran of the conflict who served with 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, at the time.
Following the service, the commemoration moved to Aldershot where 120 serving airborne soldiers plus hundreds of veterans took part in a march through the town centre.
Crowds of people lined the streets to see the march, which proceeded along Princes Way, Grosvenor Road, Victoria Road, Station Road and High Street.
The troops and veterans were led by the Band of the Parachute Regiment and Pegasus, the Paras' Shetland pony regimental mascot.
They were watched from the steps of the Princes Hall by senior military personnel and dignitaries including the Mayor of Rushmoor, Councillor Sophia Choudhary, and Aldershot MP Leo Docherty.
The service was held at the site of 18 graves of soldiers who died in the Falklands War, before the march led by Pegasus