Elizabeth Cross for Berkshire Families

2 June 2010, 06:00

Five Berkshire families are being presented with Elizabeth Crosses at a ceremony this morning.

The Elizabeth Cross was brought in last summer and is named after Her Majesty the Queen.

It is presented on The Queen's behalf to the families of Armed Forces personnel killed on duty since 1947 as an official mark of recognition of their loss from the nation.

Any family can apply for this award which is in the form of a brooch that can be worn on the lapel.

On Wednesday 2nd June, five Berkshire families will be collecting the award during a ceremony at Arborfield Garrison.

They are:

  • Mrs Dorothy Smith, widow of Sgt Beaumont of the Somerset Light Infantry who died on duty 27th Jan 1953 whilst serving in Malaya.
  • Mr Ian Smith, brother of Flying Officer Smith of the Royal Air Force who died on duty 25th Sept 1965 whilst serving in Borneo.
  • Mrs Christina Worrall, widow of Private Aspinwall of the Gloucestershire Regiment who died on duty 17 Dec 1971 whilst serving in Northern Ireland
  • Mr Edward Burney, brother of Corporal Burney of the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment, who died on duty 19 Dec 1978 whilst serving in Northern Ireland.
  • Mr James Donnachie, father of Rifleman Paul Donnachie of The Rifles, who died on duty 29th Apr 2007 whilst serving in Iraq

Heart caught up with James Donnachie before the ceremony, who said picking up the Elizabeth Cross will be an emotional occasion:

"Obviously it's difficult because of the reasons why you are getting it. It's good and right that it's been recognised what the families go through, but it's still very tough on you to actually be at these occasions.

"We knew he was doing the job he loved and had always wanted to do. We fully supported his decision to join the army and have always been very proud of everything he's done and the honour he's brought to the family."

(photo thanks to crown copyright/MOD)