Royal Anglian memorial unveiled: we will never forget their sacrifices

Anne-Louise Bramham is comforted as she sees the name of her uncle, Cpl Michael Boddy, who died serving in Northern Ireland. Picture: Steven Prouse
Anne-Louise Bramham is comforted as she sees the name of her uncle, Cpl Michael Boddy, who died serving in Northern Ireland. Picture: Steven Prouse
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FAMILIES from the Peterborough area were among those paying tribute when a memorial to honour fallen Royal Anglian soldiers was unveiled.

The Royal Anglian Regiment, which recruits from the East of England, dedicated the memorial at Duxford Imperial War Museum at a private ceremony attended by more than 5,000 people on Sunday.

The memorial comes after more than £340,000 was raised through a fundraising campaign, launched after nine members of the regiment were killed in the 1st Battlion’s 2007 tour of Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

One of those nine was Corporal Darren Bonner, of Wisbech, whose mum Christine helped raise more than £35,000 towards the memorial.

The 78 soldiers named on the memorial died serving their country in various battle zones, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland and Aden, in Yemen.

The first entry dates back to 1959 and the final entries are the deaths of five men during this year’s tour of Afghanistan.

Among the soldiers honoured are Cpl Bonner, who died in 2007, aged 31; Peterborough-born Corporal Michael Boddy, who died in 1972 aged 24; Private Paul Tee, from Peterborough, who died in 1986 and Corporal Colin Herbert, from Stanground, who died at the age of 21, in 1965.

During the ceremony, more than 375 family members of fallen servicemen walked past veteran standard bearers and sat in front of the memorial, followed by the regiment’s colonel General Sir John McColl and the colonel-in-chief, the Duke of Gloucester.

Regimental Chaplain Reverend Ken Reeve led the families and veterans in a number of hymns and prayers and each name on the memorial was read from a roll of honour.

The Last Post rang out from solo bugle player Lance Corporal Laura Windley and each family was given time to lay personal tributes on the memorial before it was opened to the public.

The Duke of Gloucester paid tribute to the fallen soldiers and said the dedication of a memorial had “been a long time coming”.

He said: “Since the formation of the regiment, those who have been lost have been remembered in different ways and at different locations, but now this single place has been created.

“This demonstrates that we care about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“For the 375 family members who are with us today, their grief is accompanied by a tremendous sense of pride, which we all share.

“This will be somewhere for them to come and it will be a place of strength and resolve.”

The memorial appeal was launched following the deaths in Afghanistan. It was originally going to support the regiment’s injured soldiers and build a memorial to those lost.

It was later decided that the memorial should commemorate all the soldiers who had lost their lives in various conflicts since the regiment’s formation in 1958.

The Royal Anglian Regiment selected the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, for the preferred site for the memorial as the regimental museum is already located there.

It is also the location for the annual regimental gathering held each September.

Regimental secretary, retired Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Hodgson, said: “Duxford will become the prime focus for the regiment in its home counties, a place where the regiment will gather to remember its dead at the memorial, with the story of the campaigns in which they died being told 200 yards away, in the regimental museum.”

Lieutenant Colonel James Woodham, commander officer of 1st Battalion of the Royal Anglians, said: “Over the years we have remembered those who have fallen in the course of duty in a number of different ways, but one thing that was missing was a central area where everyone can commemorate those who have fallen.

“The donations which have been made by the public for this memorial have been fundamental. Without those donations this would not have been possible.

“I think it is a magnificent tribute.”

The soldiers listed in the memorial:

Private Fox, 1964, Corby

Private Goodfellow, 1972, Rushden

Private Burton, 1959, Norfolk

Private Shopland, 1964, Suffolk

Private Atkin, 1964, Cleethorpes

Private Frazer, 1964, Norwich

LCPL Boothright, 1965, Lincoln

CPL Jackson, 1965, P’borough

Private Wallace, 1965, London

JDMR Skinner, 1966, Weston-Super-Mare

CPL Watson, 1966, Selkirkshire

CPL Shirley, 1966, Lincolnshire

CPL Herbert, 1967, Luton

Private Rogers, 1967, Barnsley

Maj Taunton, 1970, Australia

Private Sheridan, 1970, Somerset

Private Wilkins, 1971, Hampshire

LCPL Curtis, 1971, Reading

2LT Hull, 1972, Ireland

Private Ballard, 1972, Grimsby

LCPL Rooney, 1972, Eire

CPL Mogg, 1972, Oakham

CPL Boddy, 1972, Peterborough

CPL Barry, 1972, Lincolnshire

Private Burt, 1972, Harlow

Private Mason, 1972, Norfolk

Private Markwick, 1973, Cheshire

LCPL Owens, 1973, Bedford

Private Edwards, 1973, Southend

LCPL Grant, 1973, Leicestershire

Private Hollis, 1974, Essex

CAP Shipley, 1975, Australia

SSGT Bodenham, 1976, Herts

Private Stacey, 1977, Lincolnshire

Private Foster, 1978, Norwich

Private Wright, 1979, Leamington

Private Cooper, 1980, Isle of Wight

LCPL Johnson, 1980, Kent

Private Brewer, 1981, Scunthorpe

Private Anderson, 1982, Ipswich

Maj Ford, 1983, Suffolk

Private Linnett, 1984, Leicester

Private Patten, 1985, Norfolk

MAJ French MBE, 1986, Wales

Private Davies, 1986, Ulster

Private Bertram, 1986, N’land

Private Knight, 1986, Suffolk

Private Tee, 1986, Peterborough

Private Back, 1987, Lincolnshire

Private Peacock, 1989 Lincolnshire

LCPL Langridge, 1990, Lincolnshire

CPL Collishaw, 1990, Ulster

LCPL Faulkner, 1990, Leicestershire

Private Linney, 1991, Glasgow

JNR Windsor, 1991, Grantham

SGT Devaney, 1992, Eire

CAPT Wormald, 1994, W Yorks

LCPL Rout, 1999, Wisbech

LCPL George, 2002, Essex

Private Lewaicei, 2006, Stoke

Private Morris, 2006, Derbyshire

Private Gray, 2007, Ratby

LCPL Avey, 2007, Suffolk

CPL Bonner, 2007, Spalding

Private Borkertas, 2007, Grantham

LCPL Hawkins, 2007, Norfolk

Private Rawson, 2007, Norfolk

CAPT Hicks, 2007, Berkshire

Private Foster, 2007, Harlow

Private McClure, 2007, Suffolk

Private Thrumble, 2007, Essex

Private Mugridge, 2008, Bedfordshire

LCPL Drane, 2009, Suffolk

Private Hayes, 2010, Suffolk

CAPT Driver, 2010, Barnlsey

LCPL STM Hardy, 2010, Essex

Private JD Grigg, 2010, Suffolk