Fallen Norfolk soldiers are remembered at memorial unveiling
- Credit: Tangerine Creative, Dereham
Families of seven Norfolk soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan came together in Swanton Morley to unveil a memorial to their loved ones.
The soldiers who were based at the village's Robertson Barracks whilst serving with the Light Dragoons, were killed during active duty in the war-torn country.
A memorial service, attended by around 200 people, was held on Sunday at All Saints Church to remember the men, followed by the unveiling of a memorial at the Meadow View housing development - where new streets were named in honour of the soldiers two years ago.
The service was conducted by The Revd Canon Sally Theakston and attended by high ranking military officials including Major General (retired) David Rutherford-Jones and General (retired) Lord Richard Dannant, former head of the British Army.
After the service, pictures and stories of the seven men, L/Cpl Nigel Moffett, L/Cpl David Dennis, Trooper Christopher Whiteside, Trooper Phillip Lawrence, Craftsman Anthony Lombardi, L/Cpl Richard Brandon and Sgt Lee Davidson were unveiled on a lectern, which had been draped in the regimental flag of the Light Dragoon Guards.
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Family members were then given flowers to lay at the street signs belonging to their loved ones and offered a moment of reflection.
Chairman of Swanton Morley Parish Council Roger Atterwill, said: 'The street signs we thought would be a fitting tribute. The new housing development had six roads and a large green open space, so it seemed appropriate to honour these men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, now there's a beautiful permanent memorial too.'
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Swanton Morley has always had strong links with the military.
It had ceased to be an RAF base in 1995, and the Light Dragoons are no longer based in the village either, but the Robertson Barracks are now home to 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG), known as the The Welsh Cavalry.
Mr Atterwill believes there will always be a strong link between the locals and the forces.
He said: 'There's a proud history of our military links in Swanton Morley. We understand there may be a move to possibly close Robertson Barracks in the future, so this memorial at Meadow View will ensure that everyone remembers these soldiers and the sacrifice they made. I hope their families know that in a small corner of Norfolk that we will always be thinking of them.'