Friday, 22 July 2011

Lasting tribute to fallen Dumfries soldier

A rather moving story from the Dumfries and Galloway Standard.

They were determined their beloved son would be remembered for ever in the town he grew up in.

And Roddy and Stella Pool were “overwhelmed with pride” when Lance Corporal Joseph McFarlane Pool’s name was added to the memorial at St John’s Church in Newall Terrace on Friday, joining those of other local war heroes.

Joseph was killed while on duty in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan last September, aged only 26.

He was described as a “hero who would never be forgotten” by his colleagues.

His heartbroken family have struggled to come to terms with his death, but they have been “humbled and touched” by the tributes that have been paid to Joseph by members of the community over the last 10 months.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Dumfries in September to pay their last respects to the fallen soldier when a hearse carrying his body drove through the town centre for one final time before his funeral in Greenock, where he lived with his fiancée and two young sons.

In April, a moving ceremony took place at his former school, Maxwelltown High, where Joseph was a pupil from 1995 until 1999.

The school’s pupil council unanimously voted to pay a lasting tribute to him by unveiling a plaque in his memory.

Joseph was serving with The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, as part of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, when he was killed by an explosion.

Many of his colleagues from that regiment joined Roddy, Stella and other family and friends at the memorial service.

Mr Pool told the Standard afterwards: “We have fought to have our son’s name put on the St John’s War Memorial because Dumfries will always be his home and we wanted a lasting tribute to him.

“He might have been buried in Greenock, but this is where Joseph grew up and it was the Dumfries regiment of the Army he joined.”

He added: “We were delighted that his mates from the Royal Regiment of Scotland joined us on Friday.

“It was very emotional to see his name on the memorial, but we also felt overwhelmed by pride.

“Joseph’s death has destroyed us all and it doesn’t get any easier to live with, but to know his name is now inscribed on the war memorial, is a comfort.”

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