Light Dragoon

Honouring the dead – Edward Ferguson – FCO Bloggers

This post is also available in: Bosnian1

Remembrance week is always a poignant time of year for me, as someone who has spent most of their career supporting the UK s Armed Forces on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan .

Those who have died friends or strangers and the families that they left behind are never far from my thoughts.

On Sunday, I hosted a Remembrance Service which was attended by all the UK military personnel serving within the EU Force (EUFOR) here, including almost 100 troops from A Squadron, The Light Dragoons, who arrived here in July to strengthen EUFOR .

Their role has been to contribute to EUFOR s overall awareness of what is going on at the local level in different parts of the country .

They have done a fantastic job, in the best traditions of the British Army, and I know that they have enjoyed meeting a huge number of people from all over the country, as they have travelled around in their distinctive Jackal vehicles.

Light Dragoon in their Jackals

Light Dragoon in their Jackals

The Light Dragoons association with this country began in 1993 . During the course of the 1990s, the Regiment deployed here 13 times probably more than any other unit in the British Army first as part of the UN Peacekeeping Force, and later with IFOR . At the service on Sunday, I laid a wreath at the memorial to the 59 UK Service personnel who died bringing peace and stability to Bosnia and Herzegovina .

Amongst them, we were honouring the memory of Lieutenant Richard Madden and Troopers John Kelly and Andrew Ovington of the Light Dragoons, all of whom died on 28 January 1996, when their vehicle hit a mine in Titov Drvar.

Remembering Service in the UK Residence

Remembering Service in the UK Residence

Yesterday, I attended another Remembrance Service, this time at Camp Butmir .

100 years after the armistice that ended the First World War, troops from the 22 nations that comprise EUFOR stood together and solemnly commemorated those who have died on all sides during the wars of the 20th and 21st centuries .

It was particularly poignant to be in Sarajevo, the place which started the chain of events that would pitch us on different sides of the conflict, and to see British and Austrian troops now firm allies and brothers-in-arms here in Bosnia and Herzegovina stand together to remember their common dead.

British and Austrian troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina stand together to remember their common dead

British and Austrian troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina stand together to remember their common dead

Today, it seems quite natural that British troops should be commanded by an Austrian General . But that this is the case is to the credit of all those who worked for peace and reconciliation in Europe after the wars of the last century . The great statesmen who forged the European Union and NATO achieved what force of arms could not, and brought peace and prosperity to the continent .

Next year will be the twentieth anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement .

And it is my hope that the freshly-elected leaders of this country will show the same foresight and humanity, and work together for the benefit of all the people of this country .

There could be no greater tribute to the memory of all those military or civilian who have died.

With EUFOR Commander, Major General Heidecker

With EUFOR Commander, Major General Heidecker


  1. ^ Bosnian (

Just one week left to vote for your Star of Norfolk – News – Eastern …

Light Dragoons wives on top of an armoured vehicle with commanding officer, Lt Col Gus Fair.

Light Dragoons wives on top of an armoured vehicle with commanding officer, Lt Col Gus Fair.

There is only one more week to go to nominate your unsung community hero for the Stars of Norfolk Awards.

More than 20 judges will be looking at the dozens of entries for the event which celebrates people across the county at the EDP headquarters in Norwich on Tuesday October 1.

The awards, which were launched in June, have attracted more than 200 nominations and the categories range from Search and Rescue Person of the Year and Police Person of the Year to Fire Service Person of the Year and Small Business Community Support of the Year.

The winners will be announced on October 18 at St Andrew s Hall, Norwich.

Organiser Mick Parker said: The Stars of Norfolk Awards have met with the most amazing response from the people of Norfolk .

We have some wonderful nominations which will give the judges a very difficult task.

The awards night looks set to be a powerful, emotional and rewarding ceremony and we are all looking forward to an event which is sprinkled with stardust.

Judges include representatives from the police, fire service, ambulance service, businesses, and the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

The chairman of Norfolk County Council, Hilary Cox, and leader of the council, George Nobbs, will also be judging some of the entries.

One of the nominations for the Armed Services Award of the Year is the Light Dragoons Wives Club, based at the Robertson Barracks at Swanton Morley, near Dereham.

Capt Charlie Dunn, adjutant on the Swanton Morley army base, said: There has always been a wives club, ever since we came to Norfolk .

The members are from across the country and get together to organise things and look after each other .

I thought they needed recognition for their extraordinary charity work over the last two years.

They have raised 10,000 for the Light Dragoons Colonel s Appeal, which was set up in 2009.

Money from the appeal supports the families of Light Dragoon servicemen who are wounded while on operations or regimental service, and the families of soldiers killed in action .

So far the fund has raised nearly 1m.

The wives club raised the money through organising and posing in a calendar last year and completing a 50-mile walk over two days from Cromer to Hunstanton in May this year .

Currently, there are about 60 women in the club who arrange coffee mornings, book clubs and general get-togethers on a regular basis.

For more information about the Light Dragoons Colonel s Appeal visit

The closing date for nominations for the Stars of Norfolk Awards is Monday, September 30.

Click here1 to nominate


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Applause and tears greet the Light Dragoons at parade – Journal Live

12 Dec 2009 00:29

THEY came home safe to applause and not a few tears after taking the fight to the Taliban.

THEY came home safe to applause and not a few tears after taking the fight to the Taliban.

Soldiers from the Light Dragoons were clapped in the streets as they marched through Newcastle city centre led by tanks yesterday.

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After a dangerous six-month tour of war-torn Afghanistan, warm cheers replaced the clatter of Taliban artillery for the 180-strong regiment.

Emotions ran high as thousands lined Percy Street, Blackett Street, and Northumberland Street to watch the soldiers in their desert camouflage gear set off from the Civic Centre.

And as friends, family, well-wishers and Christmas shoppers paused to reflect on their heroes safe return from Helmand Province, the boys in their black berets swelled with pride.

Two Scimitars, a Jackal and a Panther armoured vehicle escorted the soldiers, who were accompanied by the Band of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Proudly waving her union flag, Muriel McKinley paid her respects and her own thoughts turned to her daughter who serves as an Army medic in Afghanistan.

The 62-year-old, of Westerhope, Newcastle, said: We are so very proud of each and every one of them.

My own daughter has been away so I know that it is important to have them in our thoughts and make sure they know that.

Richard Thompson, 71, from Jesmond, joined the crowds, and said: They are so brave .

The boys and girls are doing something that many of us wouldn t dream of.

The Light Dragoons, which hold the Freedom of the City of Newcastle, were key troops in Operation Panther s Claw in the summer.

Trooper Glen Hamilton, 23, from Sunderland was on his first tour of Afghanistan .

He said: It s a relief to see that we are well supported by the people back home because it gives us a huge lift.

If we didn t have those thoughts in our heads out there our mission would be so much more difficult.

It s lovely to be back because out there you have a heightened sense of tension .

You are always on edge but now we can relax with our families for a while.

Sgt Stephanie Ross, 28, from Cramlington, Northumberland, said: It s nice to have everyone here and feel appreciated .

My family are all in the forces so they know how it feels.

Warrant Sergeant Major of the Light Dragoons, Greg Cathrae, described his regiment s actions as heroic.

We have men and women as young as 18 who have taken part in some of the fiercest battles for a long time and I am very proud of them all, he said.

They have been spot-on and deserve the welcome they have had in Newcastle .

They are doing a dangerous job and knowing they come home to applause makes them even more determined.


  1. ^ 12 Dec 2009 00:29 (
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