The Queen is to recognise the loss suffered by the families of armed forces personnel killed on operations with The Elizabeth Cross.
The medal will come as a boost to families such as Aveley’s Lance-Corporal Nicky Mason who died in Afghanistan last year.
It will be granted to the next-of-kin of servicemen and women who died during operations or were killed as the result of terrorist action since World War II.
They will receive the silver emblem in the shape of a cross and a wreath, as well as a memorial scroll signed by the Queen. The Ministry of Defence estimates that around 8,000 families could be eligible for the award.
The Queen said: ‘This seems to me a right and proper way of showing our enduring debt to those who are killed while actively protecting what is most dear to us all’
Announcing the creation of the award in a Commons written statement, Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said it was intended to recognise the ‘huge debt’ the country owed to the families of the dead.
The MoD expects to contact the families of those who have died since 2000 but relatives of service personnel killed before that date will be invited to apply for the award.
YourThurrock thought this would be a good opportunity to, once again, show the funeral of Lce-Corp Mason.