Remembrance Service Sunday 14th November 2021
On Sunday 14th November our Remembrance Service took place attended by members of the public, Armed Forces and Civic Dignitories. The Honorary Chaplain to NRHQ RA led the Service and wreaths were laid on behalf of Civil Authorities, Military Units and private persons. Tributes were read to remember two persons. Firstly Jock Campbell who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in North Africa in 1941 but died in 1942. Then locally born Lance Corporal Jake Alderton who joined the Royal Engineers and served in Afghanistan where he tragically died aged just 22. Members of Jake's family were in attendance to honour his memory. The tribute is set out below.
The Service ended with the Kohima Epitaph "When you go home Tell them of us and say For your tomorrow We gave our today".
Tribute to Lance Corporal Jake Alderton - Jake was born locally and died aged 22 on the 9th November 2007 on active service in Helmand Province Afghanistan when the vehicle in which he was travelling left the road and rolled off a bridge. Jake had joined the Army in 2001 as a junior soldier and following a very successful squadron construction exercise in Canada was promoted to Lance Corporal in July 2007. Jake was deployed on Operation Herrick to provide essential training and engineer support to soldiers of the Afghan National Army.
His Commanding Officer commended him as follows “In Lance Corporal Alderton, the Regiment was fortunate to have a totally committed and thoroughly professional Junior Non Commissioned Officer who always put the interests of others before his own. These were qualities which made him a natural choice for the demands of training and mentoring the Afghan Army, a challenge which he had self-evidently risen to with boundless enthusiasm and real flair when his life was brought to such a tragic and untimely end…”
A fellow Lance Corporal remembered him: “Jake was a keen soldier respected by friends and peers. He loved being in the British Army and part of the Royal Engineers. Jake made everybody smile whenever he was there. He was somebody who always listened, someone who always cared. Jake loved playing poker and usually won, As much as we hated parting with our cash he always made it fun. He was very much a social guy and always had friends near. He enjoyed spending time with his girlfriend and taking the lads out for a beer. Jake was loved by everyone and shall be missed by us a lot…”
His parents’ tribute included these words. “Jake wanted to be a soldier since the age of 10, and at the age of 16 …he chose the Royal Engineers for his career… He loved the Army life and life in general, and never wasted a moment in either…. His concern regarding his duties was such that he spoke emphatically about the Afghan people’s plight and fully understood his role in helping them… He said to me [his father] he would not want to wear a stripe unless he served in action. That typified Jake’s attitude and approach to life… We are so proud of our brave soldier and he will always be in our hearts and minds and never forgotten.”