Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Young soldier's name added to village's war memorial

The report below has appeared in the Cambridge News. Aside from my mentioning that the late Private Robbie Hayes was the 246th British serviceman to die in or as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan, the report appears here without further comment:

"Young soldier added to village's war memorial

[by] John Goode

A young soldier killed in Afghanistan has been honoured by having his name added to the war memorial in his home village.

The name of Private Robbie Hayes, who was the first British soldier to die in the conflict this year, has been carved on the memorial at Burwell, joining those of more than 100 other villagers who died in the First and Second World Wars, as well as other conflicts since then.

A special service of dedication was held at the memorial yesterday, which included representatives of the Royal Anglian Regiment, with whom Robbie, 19, was serving when he was killed by an improvised bomb on January 3. Family and friends of Robbie also attended the ceremony.

He had been in the Army for just a year when he died while on patrol in Helmand Province. It was Robbie’s dream to join the Army and he has been praised by senior officers and colleagues as a "hugely professional and talented soldier".

He has already been remembered by the dedication of a flagpole at Burwell Village College Primary School, which he attended as a child before moving on to Bottisham Village College.

The service was organised by the parish council with help from Paul Hawes, chairman of the Burwell Museum Trustees, who previously researched missing names from the memorial and campaigned for them to be added. Wreaths were laid by the parish council and the regiment during the service.

Robbie Hayes' mother Diane Baldwin (right) and Burwell Parish Council Chairman Pat Kilbey."

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