Two Fenland soldiers among 78 Royal Anglians remembered with new memorial

A MEMORIAL to honour 78 soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment who have lost their lives since 1959 - including two from Fenland - was unveiled in a moving ceremony at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, on Sunday.

The Memorial commemorates the sacrifice of soldiers from the East Anglian Regiments and The Royal Anglian Regiment who have died on duty and in conflicts including Aden, Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The stories of the campaigns in which they died are told in The Royal Anglian Regiment Museum at Duxford, located a short walk from the Memorial.

The names of the fallen are carved on the memorial’s Roll of Honour, including Lance Corporal Rout from Wisbech who died in 1999; and Corporal Darren Bonner from Tydd St Giles who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

In total, 375 members of all 78 families had travelled from as far afield as the United States, Australia and Fiji to attend. Also in attendance was The Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, who laid a wreath.

A wreath was also laid on behalf of the bereaved families by Margaret Yallop, whose brother Corporal Michael Boddy was killed in West Belfast in 1972. Margaret said: “I was very proud to lay the wreath on behalf of all the families. It has been a very emotional day and I am proud to be here. I felt that he was there with us.”

The Colonel of the Regiment, General Sir John McColl, said: “Since the formation of the East Anglian Regiments in 1958 and The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964, those that we have lost have been remembered in different ways and in different places. But we have not, until today, had a single location that reflects the history of duty, and sacrifice, of our Regiment. Today we have put that right”.

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Based in the heart of The Regiment’s recruiting area, the Memorial was designed by architect Stephen Oliver of Rodney Melville & Partners and features a stunning bronze centrepiece statue by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. The plinth on which the statue stands is inscribed with The Royal Anglian Regiment cap badge, under which is carved: IN MEMORY OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL ANGLIAN REGIMENT AND THE EAST ANGLIAN REGIMENTS WHO DIED WHILST ON DUTY.

At the rear of the memorial enclosure and on either side of the plinth is the wall that forms the Roll of Honour. On it, inscribed under their respective cap badge, are the rank, initials, surname, decorations and date of death of The Regiment’s 78 fallen.

There are 10 columns of lettering each eight stones high, reflecting the 10 counties from which The Regiment recruit and the eight antecedent regiments from which it was formed.