Prince Harry opens remembrance field for Afghan fallen

The first remembrance field dedicated to those killed in Afghanistan was opened by Prince Harry today.

Harry, who has served in Afghanistan, planted a cross dedicated to his friend Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate in the Royal British Legion Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance.

L/Cpl of Horse Woodgate, 26, who was in the Household Cavalry Regiment with Prince Harry, was killed on foot patrol in Sangin, Helmand, on March 26 this year.

The prince, who was in full Household Cavalry dress uniform with a blue Army Air Corps Beret, also took part in a two-minute silence ceremony to honour the 342 men and women killed in Afghanistan since the conflict began in 2001.

Up to 35,000 crosses will be planted within the grounds of Lydiard Park, each with a personal message from members of the public in order to commemorate those who died.

Prince Harry also met teams from the Army, Navy, RAF and Royal Marines hoping to raise £1 million for the Royal British Legion in the 1,000 mile March For Honour.

After meeting the prince, Royal Navy Commando Petty Officer Jason Gadd said: "I'm a great fan of the Royal Family and the fact both Harry and William are in the armed services is brilliant. You can really relate to him (Harry) as he's done it.

"He joked with us in a bit of rival service banter.

"He made a comment about the Navy's lack of ships and said we should move to the Army. We just said that's too easy."

In setting them off on their last leg to London, the prince had a countdown from the public but as he went to sound a klaxon, nothing but a puff of smoke emerged.

Looking somewhat embarrassed the prince laughed it off and the servicemen went on their way.

The Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance at Lydiard Park's Walled Garden will be open daily from 9am to 4pm from November 9 until November 21.