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St Margaret's marks Desert Rats homecoming

Tuesday, 17th June 2014

St Margaret's marks Desert Rats homecoming

A Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for the 7th Armoured Brigade deployed in Operation Herrick 19 in Afghanistan was held at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 17th June at 11.00 am.

The service was conducted by the Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Canon Rector of St Margaret’s who said in his Bidding:

Today we gather in thanksgiving and in remembrance - in thanksgiving for the achievements and the lead role played in Afghanistan by the 7th Armoured Brigade in Task Force Helmand, and for professionalism, commitment, and a job well done; and we come together in remembrance of those whose lives were lost, whose memory we honour, and for whose family, friends, and loved ones we pray.

Martin Kinsey, Deputy Chief of Staff, 7th Armoured Brigade Rear Operations Group, read Micah 6: 6-8 and Brigadier James Woodham OBE MC, Commander 7th Armoured Brigade and Task Force Helmand Operations Herrick 19, read St Matthew 5: 1-12.

The Address was given by the Reverend David Barrett CF, Senior Chaplain, Task Force, Helmand Operation Herrick 19.

During the service the Roll of Honour was processed through the church and three candles were lit in memorial to Lance Corporal James Lee Brynin, 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare); Warrant Officer Class 2 (Warrior Sergeant Major) Ian Michael Fisher, 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Staffords); and Sapper Adam Moralee, 32 Engineer Regiment.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Geoff Berry CF, Chaplain, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and Deacon Peter Heneghan, Community Chaplain, Fallingbostel.

During the service the organ was played by Thomas Trotter. The bugle was played by Musician Khushiman Gurung.

The 7th Armoured Brigade derives from the 7th Armoured Division which was raised in North Africa in 1938 and fought there during the Second World War. It adopted the red jerboa as its emblem and its soldiers became popularly known as the Desert Rats. The Brigade has recently returned from Afghanistan where it has been responsible for the transfer of security operations to the Afghan National Security Forces.

See also:

The Order of Service (PDF, 319 KB)

The Shrine of St Edward the Confessor is one of the most powerful features of the Abbey. To stand in the presence of a man who is both a saint and a monarch is awe-inspiring.

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The Reverend Christopher Stoltz - Minor Canon

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