Soldiers from 32 Regiment Royal Artillery (The Wessex Gunners), based at Larkhill, in Wiltshire, have moved a six-tonne statue known as ‘Ancestor’ from its location, just off the A303 at Solstice Park, near Amesbury, to the World Heritage Site Stonehenge for the summer solstice.
The mammoth statue, the height of a double-decker bus, of a man kneeling was dismantled by a team of six soldiers and was then transported to the stone circle by members of the Royal Logistics Corps before being reassembled ready for the sunrise.
Major Dean Steptoe, of 32 Regiment Royal Artillery, the Wessex Gunners, said:
“The men have given up their own time to do this and will make up any time they have spent doing this today by catching up on their own duties this evening. It’s also an excellent opportunity to put their skills base into practice transporting and dealing with unusual loads.
“32 Regiment have also very much committed to building lasting relationships with the community in Amesbury and have already developed firm foundations within their home community of which they are very proud.
"The people of Amesbury always make them most valued and it’s nice to have the opportunity to give something back.”
32 Regt RA has been based in the Wiltshire area for the past 17 years and is one of only two Unmanned Air System (UAS) regiments in the British Army. It has had a battery permanently based in Afghanistan/Iraq since the beginning of the conflicts in 2003.
Following the solstice, Ancestor, which wears a crown fitted with copper diamonds to mark the Jubilee, will now be fitted with a replica Olympic Torch and moved to Hudson’s Field, in Salisbury, for an Olympic Torch event in July.