Housing Development Named In Honour Of Crawley Soldier
A housing development in Crawley town centre has been named after a local man and soldier who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009. The site, the former Kilnmead car park was unveiled this winter in a commemorative ceremony which was attended by the late soldier’s family, council officials and members of the 4th Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (4PWRR).
The housing development is home to 32 flats and five houses, with the block of flats named John Brackpool Court in honour of Private John Brackpool. The opening of the development held late last year included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by the late Pte Brackpool’s mother, Carol, while younger family members laid a remembrance wreath. The ceremony which saw the opening of the development also featured special readings from the Regiment’s Padre, poems and prayers.
Pte John Brackpool was born in Crawley on July 11, 1981, he joined the army and served with The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, during which time he deployed on operations to Kosovo and Iraq. He had left the regular army but volunteered to serve with 1st Battalion Welsh Guards for a six-month operational tour to Afghanistan when he was killed on July 9, 2009 while on operations near Char-e-Anjir, just outside Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province, just two days before his 28th birthday.
Speaking at the special commemorative event, Crawley Borough Council cabinet member for housing, Cllr Ian Irvine, said: “On behalf of the council I am delighted we have been able to honour the memory of Private Blackpool with the naming of this new development. This is a fitting tribute recognising his bravery and sacrifice and our thanks go out to his family for working with us, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment for putting together this special event and W Stirland for providing the plaque.”
Speaking about the event honouring his name in the Crawley community for future generations, Pte Brackpool’s mother, Carol Brackpool said: “I would like to thank the council and 4PWRR for making the day special. It was a sad but also very proud day. It’s lovely that John will be remembered.”
In the autumn, Crawley joined cities, towns and villages across the UK by marking Remembrance Day with services taking place in and around Crawley on Remembrance Sunday on November 10. Last year marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War giving the Remembrance Season an added sense of importance and solemnity.
As well as a parade taking place in the town centre, there was a service at St John the Baptist Church on the High Street with a wreath laying ceremony. Other events to mark the Remembrance Season included a remembrance service at the war memorial outside St Michael’s Church in Lowfield Heath as well as a Remembrance Service at St John’s Church in the village of Copthorne.