Derby

Derbyshire Mercian soldier war memorial to be extended

A war memorial in Derbyshire is running out of space for the names of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

The stone memorial at Crich needs to be extended so eight soldiers who died this summer can be added.

Retired Lt Col Keith Seddon said: "We need to extend it because we made promises to the families of the soldiers and to the regiment."

The names will be added to those of 29 others on the memorial, dedicated to soldiers who have died since 1945.

Young soldier

The Crich war memorial has three engraved stones on the site that honour soldiers from the East Midlands - one each for the two World Wars and one for those who have died since 1945.

The soldiers who died in Afghanistan this year will added to an extension of the post-1945 memorial stone.

So far there are a total of 29 soldiers from the Mercian Regiment and its predecessors named on the third memorial - with five from 2009 alone.

Jane Ford, mother of Pte Ben Ford, 18, who died in Helmand Province in 2007 when his army truck was blown up, said: "There is a real presence of quietness and you get that sense of peace [at the memorial]."

The first memorial on the site was built in 1923.

Every year, on the first Sunday of July, soldiers make their way to Crich for a memorial service which has been held since the tower was first dedicated.

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