Two moving online books of remembrance dedicated to soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan has been launched with the backing of a Staffordshire widow.
Aimed at bringing comfort to those loved ones left behind by allowing friends and relatives to share recollections and photographs, the poignant move has been backed by Corinne Knight from Stone.
She was just a few weeks off tying the knot with her partner of 15 years, Sergeant Bob O’Connor, who had completed several tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, when his Hercules was shot down over Iraq in January 2005.
She has added her own pictures and memories to Sgt O’Connor’s page in the Iraq Book of Remembrance and she is encouraging others to do the same.
She said: “Since I lost Bob all I have are my memories – that’s why remembrance is so important to me.
“These online Books of Remembrance are such a lovely way of keeping him alive. Of course there are other memorials to those who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. “But these books are different because family, friends and relatives can write their own personal contribution and share their cherished memories, feelings and photos with others.
“It’s a different more personal kind of tribute than the more traditional memorials and helps to keep Bob with me, in my heart.”
Supported by the three armed services’ charities; the RAF Benevolent Fund (RAFBF), ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, the online books have been created by Jonathan Haward.
Mr Haward, whose RAF pilot brother was killed on exercise 11 years ago, hopes the online tribute will “form a broader public testament to the bravery and sacrifice of Britain’s military.”
He said: “We believe the Books of Remembrance website makes an important contribution to this national time of reflection.”
Visit www.campaignmemorialbooks.com, which is an extension of www.friendsandrelations.com