Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Saturday, 28 June 2008 18:42 UK

Service honours Armed Forces dead

Prince Charles
Prince Charles lays a wreath for servicemen and women killed on duty

Prince Charles has joined the families and friends of the 102 British servicemen and women killed on duty during 2007 at a memorial service.

The event at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, is set to become an annual commemoration.

The names of those who died have been carved into the Armed Forces Memorial alongside the other 16,000 service personnel who have died since 1948.

The Prince of Wales laid a wreath after a two-minute silence was observed.

Among the relatives of those killed was Christine Bonner, whose son Corporal Darren Bonner, 31, 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, died in an explosion in Helmand Province.

Speaking after the service, she said: "The memorial is absolutely fantastic. It's beautiful, very peaceful.

"I was very proud to see his name up there. It felt like it was finalised."

Names on memorial
The names of personnel who have died since WWII are listed

Geoff Dunsmore, the father of Senior Aircraftsman Christopher Dunsmore, of 504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment, who died in a mortar attack in Basra, said: "It's very uplifting. It's a sort of memorial for the future.

"It means Christopher will be remembered for ever and his courage and dedication to service in the RAF Auxiliary Air Force has been recognised."

"Chris would have been absolutely chuffed to bits that HRH Prince of Wales was here."

The service will become an annual event for the armed forces, said the Ministry of Defence, honouring those personnel who lost their lives during the previous calendar year.

Veterans Minister Derek Twigg said: "I hope that the addition of their names to this magnificent Armed Forces Memorial will provide a focus and comfort for their families and friends, and will be a fitting tribute on behalf of the nation."

In pictures: UK Forces Memorial
12 Oct 07 |  In Pictures
New memorial to Royal Engineers
30 Apr 07 |  Staffordshire
Memorial marks World War II women
14 Jul 06 |  Staffordshire


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