To See Smudge

Our Visit to See Smudge at the National Memorial Arboretum
 
 
 
The_National_Memorial_Arboretum,by West Midlands Police Helicopter
 
After our little train ride we went in search of the main Armed Forces Memorial.
 

The Armed Forces Memorial, dedicated in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen on the 12th of October 2007, is a nationally significant focus for Remembrance. It honours those members of the Armed Forces (Regular and Reserve) who were killed on duty while performing functions attributable to the special circumstances and requirements of the Armed Forces, or as a result of terrorist action, and those who died while deployed on designated operations.

The Memorial is a stunning piece of architecture comprising a 43 metre diameter stone structure with two curved walls and two straight walls containing the names of those honoured here.
Since the end of World War II the men and women of the Armed Forces, often supported by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Merchant Navy, have taken part in more than 50 operations and conflicts across the world, often as part of United Nations, NATO or other international coalitions.

 
 
DSCN4400  DSCN4402
 
The Monument. We wanted to find one name amongst the thousands, found on the far right-hand wall.
 
 
DSCN4402
 
That of Smith MD or Smudge to our son Joe..........good friends who served together in Afghanistan. On the 10th of August 2012 Joe heard his dear friend had died six hours before. Such a tragedy, such a waste of a young life. Our hearts went out to Smudge’s parents, fiancé and especially to his four young children. https://www.gov.uk/government/fatalities/lance-corporal-matthew-david-smith-killed-in-afghanistan
 
 
DSCN4399  DSCN4396  DSCN4398
 
Respects paid we bimbled around this huge space and then went in search of the Bastion Memorial.......
 
 
DSCN4438
 
To the left the Bastion Memorial, to the right the Armed Forces Memorial.
 
 
DSCN4436
 
DSCN4406
 
Here we once again looked for Smudge (top right plaque on the right).
 
 
DSCN4416  DSCN4415
 
DSCN4413  DSCN4417
 
DSCN4414  DSCN4412 
 
   DSCN4410  DSCN4407
 
DSCN4404  DSCN4411 
 
DSCN4430  DSCN4409
 
 The twelve name plaques. We read all the Royal Marine names, some known to son-in-law, Mark.
 
 
DSCN4423
 
The back of the Monument.
 
 
DSCN4424
 
DSCN4426
 
The map, the larger photograph to show Camp Bastion.
 
 
DSCN4427
 
This memorial was built to mirror the original memorial erected in Camp Bastion by British service personnel and incorporates elements of the original stonework plaques and cross.
 
 
DSCN4422
 
DSCN4422
 
When you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today. 
 
 
 
 
ALL IN ALL SO SAD BUT SO PLEASED TO BE HERE
                     EXTRAORDINARILY MOVING