Thursday, 25 November 2010

New Nimrod Afghan crash memorial to be unveiled

From the Forres Gazette:

A memorial to the airmen and observers killed when their Nimrod aircraft exploded over Afghanistan on September 2, 2006 will be dedicated in Forres on Saturday at 1.30pm.

The ceremony is open to everyone, although the families ask that people come in civilian dress rather than in uniform.

The 14-sided cairn, which sits on whinstone and Hopeman sandstone, each side inscribed with the name of one of those who died, has been built on landscaped ground near Forres war memorial at the west end of the town.

At the request of the families, the names have been inscribed without rank and in a random order. The cost of the memorial has been funded by money donated by the public at the time of the crash.

A memorial with ranks was unveiled by the families at RAF Kinloss on April 15.

Mrs Chris Davies, who lost her husband Ady in the crash, said: “It has been a long journey to get this memorial in place but I think all the families will be pleased when they see it. We feel it is a fitting tribute to 14 very fine men. Also we would like to thank the many people involved in making this project possible, most importantly the people of Forres, Britain and around the world who have donated in our loved ones’ memories.”

Those who died were (in alphabetical order): Flight Sergeant (FS) Gary Andrews,(48); FS Steve Beattie (42); FS Gez Bell, (48); FS Ady Davies, (49); Corporal Oliver Dicketts, Parachute Regiment (27); Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Steve Johnson, (38); Sgt Ben Knight (25); Sgt John Langton (29); Flt Lt Leigh Mitchelmore (28); Flt Lt Gareth Nicholas (40); Sergeant Gary Quilliam (42); Flt Lt Al Squires (39); Flt Lt Steven Swarbrick (28); Marine Joe Windall, Royal Marines (22).

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