The families of three soldiers, who gave their lives in the service of their country, were each presented with the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll by His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq. at a ceremony held in the Aldershot Garrison Wavell Officers’ Mess.
The Elizabeth Cross instituted in 2009, to which our late sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II gave her name, is awarded in national recognition for the loss and sacrifice suffered by the families of those service personnel killed on operations or in the line of duty. The respect and reverence afforded this emblem mean it remains the only award to bear the name of the reigning monarch at the time of its inauguration since the George Cross in 1940. ‘As a people, we accord this ultimate sacrifice the highest honour and respect’ – HM Queen Elizabeth II.
As his Majesty’s personal representative in Hampshire I am honoured to be to be asked to present the Elizabeth Cross and memorial scroll on behalf of His Majesty the King this morning.” Mr Nigel Atkinson,
His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire
In his opening address, His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mr Nigel Atkinson said, “As his Majesty’s personal representative in Hampshire I am honoured to be asked to present the Elizabeth Cross and memorial scroll on behalf of His Majesty the King this morning.” He went on to say, referencing the Victoria Cross and the George Cross which also bear the names of the then monarch, “This cross being received today sits very strongly aligned with the Victoria Cross and George Cross and that puts it into some perspective as to how special her late Majesty thought this was.”
The three Elizabeth Crosses and Memorial Scrolls were being presented in recognition of the following soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice:
Major Edwin Alexander Andrews, Royal Regiment of Artillery
Died 30 October 1958 as a result of terrorist activity when he succumbed to injuries caused by a mine detonating whilst serving in Cyprus. Major Andrews is buried in Wayne’s Keep Military Cemetery in the island’s capital, Nicosia. His nephew, Mr Andrew Gillett received the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll as well as the Canal Zone Clasp recognising Major Andrews’ service during the Suez Crises, on behalf of his family.
This has been such a touching experience which has refocussed my memories of my uncle, after whom I was named. I, like he, was born in Aldershot and to come back here on such an occasion has been very touching and I am so grateful. PETER LAY,
NEPHEW OF THE LATE PRIVATE DAVIS
Corporal Andrew George McIlvenny, 9 Parachute Sqn. Royal Engineers
Died 8 June 1982 aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, The Sir Galahad when it was bombed by the Argentine Air Force. Corporal McIlvenny, who died alongside forty three others, was never recovered. Mrs Heather Beckett, his widow, received the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll on behalf of his family.
Private Peter John Davis, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Died 17 November 1951 as a result of enemy action by a missile wound to the head during the Korean War. Private Davis is buried in the United Nations Military Cemetery in Tanggok, Korea. Mr Peter Lay nephew of the late Private Davis received the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll on behalf of his family. Speaking after the ceremony Peter Lay commented, “This has been such a moving experience which has refocussed my memories of my uncle, after whom I was named. I, like he, was born in Aldershot and to come back here on such an occasion has been very touching and I am so grateful.”