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Bosnia and Northern Ireland (Commemoration Services)

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

I am pleased to provide further details of events being organised by the Ministry of Defence later this year which will commemorate the contribution made by members of the armed forces in operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Ireland over many years.

On Thursday 22 May 2008 a commemorative service is to be held at the new armed forces memorial located in the national memorial arboretum in Staffordshire. This service will honour the personnel who lost their lives or were injured and the many thousands who served throughout the 15-year deployment in Bosnia. It will also allow time for reflection on the United Kingdom’s contribution to a more stable and secure environment within Bosnia-Herzegovina which was made possible by the outstanding efforts and dedication of our armed forces.

The second event that I would like to announce is a service to mark the end of Operation Banner in Northern Ireland. This event will take place on Wednesday 10 September 2008 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London and will honour those personnel who lost their lives or were injured in Northern Ireland and the over 300,000 personnel who served in the province since 1969. The resilience they displayed over such a long period of time under extremely difficult circumstances greatly contributed to the peace that now exists.

We hope that both of these events will be attended by many veterans and families with a close association with them. Further details, including how to apply for tickets, will be announced via the media in the next few months.