09 Dec 2013

A memorial to the Long Range Desert Group was dedicated in the west cloister of Westminster Abbey on Monday 9th December 2013.

The short service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding: ‘Here in the west cloister we stand beside a monument commemorating officers and men of the Submarine Service of the Royal Navy, the Commandos, and all ranks of the Airborne Forces and Special Air Service. It was designed by the sculptor Gilbert Ledward and unveiled by Winston Churchill on 21st May 1948. It commemorates mighty men of valour.

‘Today we honour the debt the SAS has always owed to the Long Range Desert Group as we add to the monument a memorial to the commitment and expertise of the LRDG. The memorial, designed and made by John Maine RA, adds to the monument an evocation of the desert.’

The Dean prayed, ‘O Almighty God, who art a strong tower of defence in the face of the enemy, we beseech thee to accept our praises that there were men found willing to lay down their lives for the cause of freedom, and our prayer that their lasting memorial may be our peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’

Jim Patch read Isaiah 35: 1-10.

Viscount Slim OBE DL asked Dr Hall to receive the memorial into the safe custody of the Dean & Chapter.

The Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon and Sacrist led the prayers which were said by the Reverend Flora Winfield and General Sir Cedric Delves KBE DSO.

See also:

Abbey history: Long Range Desert Group 

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