Published 11 June 2015

The names of the Fallen shine in gold, as they do in our memories.

The Duke of Sussex

In 2006 a small memorial cairn was built to commemorate those who fell during our deployment into Helmand Province.

As the scope of operations widened and the fighting in Afghanistan intensified this memorial grew, it changed to accommodate a lengthening list of those who had fallen on other side of the world.

The memorial became the focal point for remembrance in Camp Bastion; set apart on the open plain, the memorial stood as a witness to the bond of comradeship, respect and love those on the front line have for one another.

Built by service personnel in their own time, the memorial was a place where anyone could go to reflect and remember their comrades,  – whether individually or as part of a formal parade.

And so it is here; this memorial reflects the spirit of the old one, containing as it does the original brass plaques, a large piece of the original stonework, the original cross, Afghan pebble chippings and the last Union Flag to fly over the memorial in Camp Bastion.

The names of the Fallen shine in gold, as they do in our memories.

Every person who serves their country pays a price, for some it is time away from their families, others pay the ultimate price.

We remember them and all those who were injured or scared by their service in Afghanistan today through the laying of wreaths.

Everyone who has lost a loved one or seen them changed by their experiences will feel a different emotion; grief, sorrow, loss, anger or regret for that left unsaid - just as each of those named on the wall behind me was unique.

However, as we sit here amongst friends, we can take comfort in the knowledge that they gave their lives doing a job they loved, for a country they loved and amongst mates who loved them most dearly.

Each year we wear the poppy to remember all those who have fallen in the service of their country since 1914.

This simple emblem is a powerful and telling reminder of the sacrifices made by our service men and women for all our sakes.

But it is also represents the profound gratitude we all have for you - the loved ones who are left behind.

Once this ceremony is ended and all the trappings of the day have been cleared away, this will become a place of pilgrimage; a quiet space for remembrance, just as it was in Camp Bastion all those miles away.

But those named on this memorial will forever be in our hearts and prayers.