Re­mem­ber­ing the Falk­lands heroes

Harefield Gazette - - In Pictures - by FER­GUS MCEWAN fer­gus.mcewan@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Fer­gusMcEwan

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

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