Somerset Cadets Invited To Unveiling of Light Infantry Memorial
Written by SMI Julie Halford
Adult Instructors and cadets from Jellalabad Company, Somerset Cadet Battalion (The Rifles) travelled to Staffordshire on Sunday 12 June 2011 to attend the official unveiling of a new memorial to the Light Infantry in the National Arboretum.
The party of 18 from Bridgwater, Priorswood and Minehead Platoons assembled in the Mall of the National Memorial Arboretum in appalling weather conditions to participate in the dedication service. The memorial is a large piece of Portland stone adorned with the Bugle badge and the words "In proud memory of all those who served in The Light Infantry" on the front face. On the rear are The Light Infantry mottos "Aucto Splendore Resurgo" (I rise again with increased splendour), "Cede Nullis" (Yield to none) and "Faithful".
Around 600 former members of the Regiment were present to listen to the Reverend Tim Daplyn conduct the short service of hymns, readings and the blessing. Lieutenant Colonel Eric Harrington spoke about his time served from National Service, 6th Light Infantry and to present day. As an Association member of the Bristol Branch he also told of what this memorial means to him, "Holding on to the things you want to remember, the things that you are, the things that you never want to leave…your friends." Cadet Danny Elliott (Priorswood Platoon) was among the many who laid wreaths.
As a Bugler sounded the Last Post, the veterans and cadets fell silent in quiet contemplation as the rain continued to lash down upon everyone.
After the service, the cadets visited the main memorial and the Armed Forces' Wall where the names of those who have fallen in conflicts are inscribed. The Jellalabad Company cadets identified the name of Corporal Tom Gaden, a former pupil of Bishop Fox's Community School in Taunton, who was sadly killed in action on Wednesday 25 February 2009 while serving in Afghanistan. Next stop was the Army Cadet Force Memorial where Cadet Lance Corporal Aiden Coutts (Bridgwater Platoon) laid another wreath on behalf of our Battalion for all those who had served as cadets prior to regular service.
Jellalabad Company Serjeant Major Graham Corner is hoping to arrange a further visit to the National Memorial Arboretum for other cadets in the near future.
Image 1: The new Light Infantry Memorial at the National Arboretum.
Image 2: Cadet Lance Corporal Aiden Coutts (Bridgwater Platoon) lays a wreath at the Army
Cadet Force Memorial, the National Arboretum.
Image 3: Jellalabad Company cadets at the National Arboretum.