Wreath-layings mark 20th anniversary of UK operations in Afghanistan

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Today marks the 20th anniversary of UK operations in Afghanistan.

The wreaths were laid in two symbolic ceremonies at the Bastion Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, and at the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial in London.

Service personnel who served in Afghanistan and wear the Afghanistan Operational Service Medal attended the ceremonies to pay respect to their fallen comrades. Over 20 years, 150,000 Armed Forces personnel served on operations in Afghanistan.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Today we remember the sacrifice and courage of the 457 service personnel who lost their lives during the 20 years of UK operations in Afghanistan.

“We remember their bravery in conflict and their dedication to the cause of peace and democracy. Their selfless sacrifice transformed Afghanistan and showed the UK’s solemn commitment to standing with our NATO allies.”

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, who laid a wreath at the Bastion Memorial today, added: “Having served on two tours of Afghanistan myself, I was proud to lay a wreath at the Bastion Memorial in memory of those who tragically did not return home.

“Our Armed Forces overcame unimaginable challenges in support of the people of Afghanistan and to defend the UK and its allies. We must continue to honour the legacy of the generations of service personnel who served in Afghanistan.”


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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