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UK Forces Who Lost Their Lives In 2007 Honoured

Ministry Of Defence (UK)

Members of UK Forces who lost their lives in 2007 honoured at a special service in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales

A service has commemorated the 102 UK servicemen and women killed on duty during 2007. The service - at the Armed Forces Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire - was attended by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Veterans Minister Derek Twigg and Vice Admiral Wilkinson, along with families and close friends of those honoured today.

Work has recently been completed carving the names on the walls of the monument, and each was read out to the congregation by the representatives of their respective Services. This was followed by a two-minute silence and wreathes laid by HRH The Prince of Wales, Derek Twigg and Vice Admiral Wilkinson.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Twigg said:

"Today's service highlights the dedication and sacrifice of our Servicemen and women around the world. It is right that the nation pays tribute to those members of our Armed Forces who have died while on duty in 2007. I hope that the addition of their names to this magnificent Armed Forces Memorial will provide a focus and comfort for their families and friends, and will be a fitting tribute on behalf of the nation."

Senior Aircraftsman Christopher Dunsmore - of 504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment - was one of three service personnel killed by a mortar attack at the Basra Contingency Operating Base on 19 July 2007. Christopher had followed his father Geoff in to the Royal Auxiliary Air Service, and was its first member to be killed in action since the Second World War. Geoff Dunsmore attended the service today and said:

"There is no greater sacrifice than to give your life for something you believe in. Today Chris, who was an RAF Auxiliary, his full-time colleagues who died with him and all the members of the Armed Forces who have lost their lives in 2007 have been recognised for this quality. It is with honour and pride that Chris's partner Donna, his family and his friends can see him honoured in such a way at the Memorial."

NOTES

1. In 2007, 102 members of the Armed Forces lost their lives while on duty. The figure includes nine members of the Royal Navy, 85 members of the Army, and eight members of the Royal Air Force.

2. The Royal Auxiliary Air Force is one of the Reserve Forces of the Royal Air Force (RAF). Its current mission is to provide trained personnel in support of the RAF, specifically No.1 Force Protection Wing and 3 Squadron RAF Regiment.

3. The Armed Services were represented by Vice-Admiral Peter Wilkinson, the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel), Lieutenant General Sir Freddie Viggers, the Adjutant General, and Air Marshal Stephen Dalton. The service was led by Bishop John Kirkham, a former Bishop to the Forces and Trustee for the Armed Forces Memorial.

4. In keeping with the other names inscribed on the Memorial, the list includes personnel killed both on or off active duty, as a result of training or road traffic accidents, or through other activity connected with serving in the Armed Forces.

5. The newly-added names sit alongside those members of UK Forces who have lost their lives since 1948. The Armed Forces Memorial was dedicated by Her Majesty The Queen on 12 October 2007. It was built on behalf of the nation, funded by public subscription and is managed by an independent trust - http://www.forcesmemorial.org

6. The Armed Forces Memorial is located within the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA), Alrewas, nr Lichfield, Staffordshire. The NMA covers 60 hectares of woodland and hosts memorials from a range of organisations both military and civilian, charities, local and overseas groups.

Client ref 142/2008
COI ref 162731P

ENDS

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