High emotion as Doncaster woman receives Elizabeth Cross on behalf of her late brother

The sister of a soldier killed in 1956, has received the Elizabeth Cross for her brother, to mark the sacrifice he made while serving in Cyprus.

By Sally Burton
Thursday, 27 June, 2019, 10:51
Mr Nigel Atkinson Esq, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire presents The Elizabeth Cross to Mrs June Thompson.

Lance Corporal Roy Newsome, born in Doncaster in 1935, had served just one year and seven months in the Army when he was killed on September 12, 1956, as a result of an accidental gunshot wound.

The soldier had joined the military on January 27 in 1955, when he was 19 years, seven months old. He was assigned to 63 Company, Royal Army Service Corps (Parachute Brigade).

Mrs June Thompson, with family and friends

His sister, Mrs June Thompson, who still lives in Doncaster, was joined by family members including her son, daughter, son in law and her grandchildren, for the posthumous presentation on behalf of her brother, of the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll .

Mrs Thompson said, “I can’t thank the Army enough for the effort they went to to in order to make this occasion so special.

“This will finally enable me to bring closure on Roy’s death as I was unable to travel to his funeral at the time.

“I remember Roy as one of those people who would go out of his way to help anyone. I recall sitting up late on a Friday night to write down the top 20 on Radio Luxemburg to send to him.

“We would write to each other quite often. It is very humbling to know he hasn’t been forgotten and I will be proud to wear this cross.”

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The Elizabeth Cross was introduced in 2009 and is awarded in national recognition of the loss and sacrifice suffered by the families of those service personnel killed on operations in the line of duty.

Serving personnel from across Aldershot Garrison and the Royal Logistic Corps attended the event, hosted by the deputy commander of 11 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters South East, Colonel Simon Browne OBE, at the Aldershot Garrison Officers’ Mess.

Aldershot was the town in which Roy had joined the Army and served during the first part of his military career.

Mr Nigel Atkinson Esq, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, presented the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.

As a mark of respect, musicians from The Band of the Royal Artillery Brass Quintet played the Regimental March of the Royal Army Service Corps, and the Last Post and Reveille were sounded.

Guests were piped in by a piper from 1st Battalion the Irish Guards.

Along with the cross, the family received a memorial scroll signed by the Queen. At the time of its inauguration Her Majesty stated, ‘As people, we accord this ultimate sacrifice the highest honour and respect.’

Lance Corporal Roy Newsome is buried at Wayne’s Keep Cemetery in Plot 23, Row A, Grave 14.