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Crowds gathered to remember the brave Service men and women who fought and died in the Afghanistan conflict in a moving service at The Royal British Legion's Field of Remembrance at Royal Wootton Bassett today.
Over 45,000 crosses were planted within the walled garden in Lydiard Park, each with a personal message of Remembrance and thanks to the 446 Service people killed since the Afghanistan conflict began in 2001.
A number of civic dignitaries, guests and members of the British Armed Forces planted crosses to pay their respects to those who have given their lives in the Service of our country.
The British Imperial Military Band provided fitting musical accompaniment during the service.
Legion beneficiary Emma Hickman, the fiancée of fallen Private Daniel Wade, planted a cross in memory of Daniel, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012
Emma said: "I'm honoured to be a part of this special Remembrance Service as it is so important to remember the bravery of everyone who has fallen in Afghanistan. It is especially important for me to remember my fiancé and my daughter Lexi's dad, Private Daniel Wade."
Daniel, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, died on 6 March 2012 in Afghanistan when his Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. Daniel, 20, from Warrington, joined the Army in January 2011.
Legion National Vice Chairman Terry Whittles said: "Each year, the Fields of Remembrance demonstrate just how much support and admiration there is for our Armed Forces. At this time we particularly remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice; we, and I include the whole nation when I say 'we', will never forget them.
"Because of the leading role the local community played during early repatriations, Royal Wootton Bassett has a special place in the nation's heart, and this Field of Remembrance, perhaps above all others, shows how much public recognition there is of the sacrifices made by our young Service men and women killed in Afghanistan. It is an honour to see so many families, friends and supporters here at this very poignant ceremony today."
In addition to the Field of Remembrance ceremony, 30,000 poppies were planted in a cluster of poppy shaped formations. Each poppy bears a special tribute from Legion supporters showing their respect to all those who have lost their life in Service.
The Legion's Afghanistan Heroes ield of Remembrance is located at Lydiard Park, near Royal Wootton Bassett. It will be open to the public from today, Friday 8 November until Sunday 18 November. Click here for more details.
The first Field of Remembrance opened in 1928 in the grounds of Westminster Abbey, London. This year there are six Fields of Remembrance around the UK in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Westminster Abbey and Royal Wootton Bassett. Click here for more information on the Fields of Remembrance.
Media contact Nigel Sargeant, Public Relations Officer South, The Royal British LegionT: 01793 601143 M: 07551 138 416 E: email@example.com
©The Royal British Legion 2013. Registered Charity No 219279. 199 Borough High St, London SE1 1AA. Tel +44 (0)20 3207 2100