Royal greeting for RAF medic from Ipswich who took his mum to unveiling of new memorial
- Credit: Archant
An RAF medic from Ipswich who was invited as a guest of honour for the unveiling of the new Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial in London this week was treated to a face-to-face chat with the Duchess of Cambridge.
Ian Ewers-Larose, 49, who served tours in both the Falklands and the first Gulf War, described the service at the Victoria Embankment Gardens on Thursday as ‘absolutely breathtaking’.
“It was fantastic and very moving,” he said, “a beautiful service.”
“At one point I was able to talk to the Duchess of Cambridge.
“She was very nice and we had a lovely conversation about when and where I had served.”
Mr Ewers-Larose brought his mum Jenny to the unveiling as his guest, saying people often forget the worry parents go through when their sons and daughters are serving in conflicts overseas.
“The monument itself is absolutely striking, so much more striking that I thought it would be.
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“My mum thoroughly enjoyed the service and found it very moving as a parent.
“There were a lot of servicemen and women with their mums and dads on Thursday, people often forget they have parents who worry about them from home.”
Mr Ewers-Larose said it was an ‘immense honour’ to have been invited to the event through his connection with the Royal British Legion (RBL).
He said it is important that those who served in the Middle East were recognised for what they have done for their country.
He said: “Whereas the Cenotaph is there to remember those who fell in the first and second world wars and is a fantastic memorial, I think it is right to have a memorial for this period of time but also one that represents everyone.
“I think it is good to have a place for people to reflect, to remind people what happened and for those families who lost somebody to visit and remember them.”
Mr Ewers-Larose is a staunch supporter of the RBL who were a ‘lifeline’ to him after he was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after serving as part of Operation Granby in Iraq.
The condition affects his joints and muscles and has left him with limited mobility and a deteriorated immune system.
Since then, the RBL has helped fund new carpets in his bungalow, logs to heat his home and pitched in to repair a broken chimney.