The Jewish military association AJEX held a special service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Wednesday to mark 40 years since the Falklands War.
The AJEX Standards were raised in the sunshine for the memorial garden service led by AJEX chair S/Sgt Dan Fox and Rabbi Major Reuben Livingstone, an event that remembered all Jews who served – and continue to serve – in particular, in the Falklands War.
It also highlighted the courage of young Jewish paratrooper Pte Jason Burt who was shot and killed by an Argentine sniper just short of his 18th birthday during the Battle of Mount Longdon, only two days before the end of the conflict on 12 June 1982.
Fox said Burt “showed great courage earlier in the battle by attending to an injured comrade hit by a landmine”, adding: “At 17 years old, Jason was Britain’s second youngest fatality of the conflict.
“It was a great honour to be able to remember Jason, and the other 254 British personnel who did not come home from the South Atlantic, and whose commitment to our nation’s security and freedom will never be forgotten.”
He said: “Coming together as generations, and having the cadets remembering with us, highlights the ongoing importance of ensuring the AJEX legacy continues and passing on the baton of remembrance.”
Wreaths were laid by Major Danny Yank, Brig Christopher Coles CBE, plus Fox and the students of the JFS Combined Cadet Force, who laid a posey. After the ceremony took place, attendees joined in a ‘l’chaim’, raising a glass for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
One of several events ahead of Armed Forces Day, it comes amid a flurry of significant anniversaries of Jewish service to the Crown, including 125 years since the first officially sanctioned religious service for Jewish members of the armed forces.
By 1892, the numbers of Jews serving in the British Army and Royal Navy had grown to the point where a Jewish military chaplaincy was needed. In 1897, Rev. Cohen obtained the sanction of the British Admiralty and the War Office for a special annual service for Jewish men in the Forces.
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