Fallen troops from West Suffolk remembered in Afghanistan commemoration service

SAC Luke Southgate, of Bury St Edmunds, former County Upper School pupil, died in Afghanistan February 24 2010
SAC Luke Southgate, of Bury St Edmunds, former County Upper School pupil, died in Afghanistan February 24 2010

Three soldiers from West Suffolk have been honoured in a special commemoration service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Lance Corporal Adam Drane, 23, Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate, 26, and Senior Aircraftman Luke Southgate, 20, were among the 453 British troops remembered in the ceremony to mark the end of UK’s involvement in the Afghanistan war.

Prime Minister David Cameron as well as members of the Royal Family attended, which was addressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Kate Southgate, mother of SAC Southgate, who was overwhelmed by the respect in the capital given to all the families, said: “Everyone, even our taxi driver, knew why we were there and were so supportive. It has taken a good couple of days to come back to reality, it was just so emotional.”

Lance Corporal Drane, of Hoggards Green, Stanningfield, was shot and killed in 2009, Lance Corporal Woodgate, of Lavenham was killed by a grenade while on a foot patrol in March 2010 and SAC Southgate, of Bury St Edmunds died in 2010 from an improvised explosive device.

Mrs Southgate hopes that even though combat operations have finished in the 13 year campaign, those who lost their lives will stay in the public’s thoughts. She said: “I am so proud, I just hope their lives will never be forgotten.”

Services were held across the UK and Germany as well as in Afghanistan.