Kent statue honouring 36 Engineer Regiment unveiled

Maidstone statue
Image caption The statue depicts a soldier just returned from patrol in honour of those who died in Afghanistan

A life-size statue of a bomb disposal expert has been unveiled in Kent as a tribute to service personnel who have died in Afghanistan.

The 6ft-tall bronze soldier by Sussex sculptor Mary Cox has been erected in Brenchley Gardens, Maidstone, in honour of 36 Engineer Regiment.

The town is home to the Regiment which is based at Invicta Park Barracks.

The £35,000 statue, paid for by local donations, has been unveiled in time for Remembrance Sunday.

The Regiment lost six of its men in Afghanistan since 2007.

'Times of crisis'

Lt Col Simon Hulme, commanding officer 36 Engineer Regiment, said: "It is an honour and a privilege to serve in a town which has taken us so much to its heart and this statue is a perfect symbol of the relationship we have with the local community.

"We are extremely grateful for all the support we receive which helps us to go out and do our jobs to the best of our ability."

The sculpture depicts a soldier having just returned from patrol, standing on a rock and carrying equipment.

Leader of Maidstone Borough Council, Chris Garland, said: "The 36 Engineer Regiment has not only played an important part in the life of the town for more than 60 years but has proudly defended our nation in times of crisis.

"The statue commemorates their valour and their association with Maidstone.

"I'm grateful that residents and businesses have come forward to help raise the money for the statue."

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