Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Remember the fallen

Two online ‘Books of Remembrance’ have been launched, commemorating all those members of the armed forces who have died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Visitors can post memories, pictures and anecdotes about each individual, forming a record of the sacrifices made by Armed Forces personnel and their families that is accessible to all. The tribute books are supported by the three armed services’ charities: the RAF Benevolent Fund, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

The creator, Jonathan Haward, has provided brief biographies for many of the fallen, but wants the general public to make their own contributions by visiting the online books. In this way he hopes the online tributes will form a broader public testament to the bravery and sacrifice of Britain’s military.

Jonathan Haward, creator of the online 'Books of Remembrance'
Jonathan has strong personal reasons for wanting to create the online spaces:

“My mother worked in a radar station during the Battle of Britain, directing fighter planes to intercept the enemy. The RAF was an important part of her life and holds a special place in the heart of our family. Both of my elder brothers, Chris and David, became pilots. Sadly David was killed on exercise 11 years ago, shortly after being appointed a Station Commander.

Jonathan's mother, who worked in a radar station during the Battle of Britain

“A few years ago a friend emailed me some pictures of my brother that I had never seen. I forwarded these to my relatives and they brought such joy that it inspired us to set up  website where families can leave tributes to departed loved ones, post images and share memories. The Books of Remembrance are a logical extension of this idea, giving everyone the chance to take an interactive, personal approach to Armistice Day. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness of the three Service charities and their vital work."
Jacqui Thompson, whose husband Gary died in Afghanistan, has shared her memories in the online tribute

Jacqui Thompson lost her husband Gary in 2008. He was killed at the age of 51 whilst serving as a reservist in the RAF Regiment, when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Jacqui has added her own pictures and memories to Gary’s page in the Afghanistan Book of Remembrance and encourages others to do the same:

“Since I lost Gary all I have are cherished memories – that’s why Remembrance is so important to me. The online Books of Remembrance are a lovely way of keeping Gary alive - recognising his actions and collecting together my memories, and those of all the people that knew him. It helps to keep him with us, in our hearts.”

Please take time to visit the books during this time of Remembrance.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.