Light for Life

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall attended a memorial service at Salisbury Cathedral last weekend to mark the 10th anniversary of the conflict in Afghanistan.

The service saw family members, relatives and members of the public take part in a service within the cathedral called ‘Light for Life’. During the service a candle was lit for every British life lost over the past 10 years in Afghanistan. The path leading to the Cathedral was also lined with young saplings, each representing a unit that had lost personnel during their deployment to Afghanistan.

At the base of each sapling, a framed list showing the names of those individuals killed offered a stark reminder of the human cost of the war in Afghanistan.

The ‘Light for Life’ ceremony bought to an end a year long campaign by the organisation DecAid who are a national appeal set up with three main aims. Firstly, to increase awareness, particularly among younger members of the UK population, of the work and involvement of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Secondly, to remember those men and women of our Armed Forces who have lost their lives serving in Afghanistan and thirdly, to raise over £350,000 for two service charities which work to help current and ex-servicemen and women, and their families, who have been affected by the war in Afghanistan.

The DecAid Team are mostly current or former members of Exeter University Officer Training Corps (EUOTC) which draws its membership from Exeter and Plymouth Universities and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is their royal patron.

After the memorial service the Duchess met members of the public during an impromptu walk about amongst those waiting outside the cathedral.

Wreaths of poppies are placed against the saplings that represent units that have lost personnel in Afghanistan.


A man reads the names of those killed in Afghanistan as he passes along the row of saplings.

A man pauses to look at the row of saplings.

Two soldiers read the names of personnel killed in Afghanistan.

Two girls stop playing to look at the line of saplings on the approach to the Cathedral.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall stops to look at a large figure, part of an ongoing art installation at the Cathedral that had the DecAid sash placed over it.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meets members of the public as she approaches the Cathedral for the memorial service.

The congregation waits for the start of the service at Salisbury Cathedral.

After addressing the congregation HRH The Duchess of Cornwall returns to her seat.

A member of DecAid lights some of the many candles that each represent a serviceman or woman killed in Afghanistan.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meets members of the public outside the Cathedral.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meets members of the public outside the Cathedral.

Further information on Dec Aid can be seen HERE


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