Lieutenant takes part in Afghanistan Service of Commemoration

More than 100 Royal Navy and 146 Royal Marines will be taking part in a commemoration event in London today to mark 13 years of UK military operations in Afghanistan.

Among them will be Lieutenant Ben Kirby, of Southend-on-Sea who will be the Officer in Charge of the colour party at the parade.

He worked as an embedded police mentor with 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles in Helmand province in 2011.

“It was a really rewarding experience to work with the Afghan National Police,” he said. 

It was outside of my usual job so I enjoyed the chance to do something different and to make a difference.

Lieutenant Ben Kirby RN

He continued; “It was outside of my usual job so I enjoyed the chance to do something different and to make a difference.

“This parade is an appropriate opportunity to remember the Afghanistan campaign and I am proud to be a part of it.”

All the personnel attending were involved in the campaign working across a variety of roles from fighting on the ground and in the air to providing medical and logistic support to troops.

In excess of 5000 Royal Navy and Royal Marines, including reservists, served in Afghanistan, working alongside their Army and RAF colleagues to make it a safer and more stable country.

A service will be held today at St Paul’s Cathedral which will be attended by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Duke of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Duke of Gloucester, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Defence, Service Chiefs and other senior political and military figures.

Following the Service, which will also honour the 453 Servicemen and women who lost their lives during the campaign The Prince of Wales will take the salute from the parade of Armed Forces personnel.

A flypast of aircraft used in the campaign, including Chinook, Apache and Sea King helicopters, and Hercules and Tornado aircraft will take place over the parade and the Cathedral in tribute.

Following the parade receptions will be held at the Guildhall hosted by the City of London Corporation.

Those at the Honourable Artillery Company and Wellington Barracks will be hosted by The Royal British Legion and attended by members of the Royal Family, those who attended the service and those who took part in the parade.