A CEREMONY will be held in April to unveil a memorial plaque for the 457 military personnel who died in the Afghanistan conflict.

After they lost their lives the troops were repatriated and corteges arrived at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for post mortem examinations.

On each occasion veterans gathered in Headley Way to form a guard of honour at the entrance of the hospital to pay tribute when troops were repatriated.

In October a team of volunteers planted daffodil bulbs on land next to St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, known as ‘The Final Turn’.

Now it is been decided a ceremony will take place at 11am on Saturday, April 8 when the plaque will be mounted on the church wall in memory of those who died in Afghanistan and other conflict zones.

John Walker, 76, from Botley, who served with the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards in the 1960s and 1970s, is one of the organisers.

He said: “We hope hundreds of people will come along to the ceremony.

“The plan is for the plaque to be mounted on the wall on the same day each year, but it is not expected to remain on display permanently.

“We hope there will not be further repatriations but if there are then the plaque would be mounted on the wall again for the repatriation.

“The flowers will, of course, be a permanent memorial and they will be in full bloom by the time the ceremony takes place.

“We would like to thank the church for all its support, and staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital."

Brian Crossin, 81, a veteran of the RAF Police, who lives in Didcot, came up with the idea of the floral tribute, and organised the planting of the bulbs.