Plaques to soldiers killed in Bosnia rededicated
- 13 June 2012
- From the section England
Four soldiers killed whilst peace keeping in Bosnia have been remembered as two plaques were rededicated.
The soldiers were serving with the former Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment in 1994 when they were killed in two separate accidents.
Two in-situ memorials were created, but in 2007 they were removed from Gorazde and brought back to the UK.
Now fundraisers have refurbished the plaques and returned them to Bosnia.
Ptes Phillip Armstrong, Martin Dowdell, and Chris Turner were killed in a road accident in Gorazde.
They were from Almondsbury in South Gloucestershire, Royal Wootton Bassett and Amesbury in Wiltshire respectively.
Pte Ben Hinton from Christchurch, Dorset, also died in a separate accident that year and also has a commemorative plaque.
They were among some 350 soldiers from the battalion which was on its first operational tour in 1994-1995.
Conflict had broken out in what was Yugoslavia and the United Nations had enlisted the troops to patrol a safe haven in Gorazde.
After their deaths, two memorials were carved in marble by a Bosnian refugee and placed where they died.
However at the end of the British mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2007, and in accordance with Army policy, the memorials were removed and have been in storage at the Regimental Office in Gloucester ever since.
Since then, a number of ex-Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire (RGBW) soldiers have been committed to returning the memorials to their original locations.
Now, with more than £9,000 raised, a group has travelled with the refurbished marble stones back to Bosnia to rededicate them.
A ceremony took place at 13:00 BST led by the Reverend Andy Grant, a former L/Cpl who served with the men.
Earlier he said that it would be "a real honour" to return for the rededication.
Another of the travelling group said this mission would help many people embrace a sense of pride about what they did.
Maurice Evlyn-Bufton, an ex-Captain with the regiment, said: "If we can recognise the service of the whole battalion and the British Army and what we did in our time, by the rededication of these memorial stones, then I think it will serve many people in many different ways."