Memorial for British soldier killed in Alderney

A memorial service was held on Friday morning to remember the only British soldier who died during active duty in Alderney.

The service for Sapper George Onions took place begin at St Anne’s Church Cemetery.

The military engineer was helping to clear land mines laid on the island by the Germans during the Occupation in World War Two.

Born in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, a simple service is held annually to remember him.

It is believed that he died on 21 June 1945, his 22nd birthday, while unloading a lorry carrying supposedly decommissioned mines and detonators, one of which accidentally exploded.

The States of Alderney said he was remembered with affection by the people of the island, not only for his service but for his engagement with the local community.

Capt Philip Brazier, secretary of the Royal Engineers Historical Society (REHS), said: "Winning the war is one thing, it's then making sure you've cleared the dangerous remnants of it so that people can get back to civilian life as quickly as possible.

"Those that are in the community, or are aware of the community, that do this work are very, very grateful, and we are supportive of the efforts and the mental stresses that go with it as well."

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