RAF Odiham servicemen honoured

Memorial service for servicemen who died in helicopter crash

Memorial service for servicemen who died in helicopter crash

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

SCORES of people attended a poignant service of remembrance for the five fallen servicemen.

The service, held in St Mary’s Church, Burghfield, on Tuesday afternoon, paid tribute to the sacrifice made by Captain Thomas Clarke, Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner, Corporal James Walters, and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas.

During the moving service, those gathered were invited to light candles in memory of the five servicemen.

The Reverend Gill Lovell said: “I invite you all to light a candle. Some pain cannot be put into words.”

There were tears as The Rev Lovell led the congregation, which included schoolchildren and military personnel, in prayers and readings.

She said: “We remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives, in world wars and conflicts past and present, have been given and taken away.

“Today, especially, we remember Captain Thomas Clarke, Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner, Corporal James Walters and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

Rev Flight Lieutenant Paul Collins, who is station padre at RAF Odiham, also spoke at the service, saying he was honoured to have been invited.

He said: “It has been a very, very sad time at RAF Odiham. But we have been overwhelmed by the many messages of support from people.”

He said that the good work done by the military would not be possible without the support of others, adding: “The community has really come together, and for that, I want to say thank you. Thank you so much.”

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