Moving tribute to Corby Falklands hero

The Ride of Respect at Shire Lodge Cemetery
The Ride of Respect at Shire Lodge Cemetery

A special service for a Corby soldier killed in the Falklands War has taken place in front of his family, friends and supporters.

Craftsman Alex Shaw, who served with 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 Para) died with 22 other servicemen on June 13, 1982.

The Ride of Respect at Shire Lodge Cemetery

The Ride of Respect at Shire Lodge Cemetery

The Ride of Respect, a charity motorbike tour by their comrades-in-arms, will see the 23 fallen soldiers being remembered at grave sites across the UK.

25-year-old Alex lost his life when 3 Para attacked the key position of Mount Longdon in the final days of the Falklands War.

His job as a Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers Craftsman with 3 Para was to keep all the weapons ready for action.

3 Para attacked Mount Longdon in the final days of the Falklands war in 1982 and held the position under constant artillery and mortar fire for two days before advancing into Port Stanley to secure the Argentine surrender.

Joe McMahon salutes at the graveside

Joe McMahon salutes at the graveside

In the 37th year since the end of the conflict, campaign veteran Major (Retired) Paul Moore has been paying special tribute to the fallen, alongside members of the Airborne Forces Riders to support the South Atlantic Medal Association (Known as SAMA 82).

A five-day pilgrimage visiting the grave sites of all 23 men started in Lanchester, Durham, on Monday, July 1, and is due to finish in Worthing, West Sussex.

Mr Moore and his team of seven riders gathered at the grave in Shire Lodge Cemetery in Rockingham Road with members of the Corby branch of the Royal British Legion.

Among the crowd of about 50 paying tribute was Alex’s sister, Susan Fleming, and her family.

Major Paul Moore on his motorbike

Major Paul Moore on his motorbike

Susan was a 15-year old schoolgirl when she heard that her big brother had been killed in the battle.

She said: “Alex first joined the Royal Marines when he left Lodge Park School at 16.

“He had come out of the Army to get married and worked as a postman in Corby, but he couldn’t settle and went back into the service as a craftsman, that’s when he was sent to the South Atlantic.

“We would write letters to each other but I wasn’t as good at replying as he was.

Paul Moore thanks the supporters for attending, watched by Susan Fleming

Paul Moore thanks the supporters for attending, watched by Susan Fleming

“When he was killed it was terrible - I don’t think my mum and dad ever recovered from it.”

A friend of Alex’s and fellow Falklands War veteran Joe McMahon, also from Corby, was invited to place a Poppy cross on the grave.

Joe said: “Alex was a really funny guy. He liked a joke - we’d go drinking together when we were on leave.”

Mr Moore said: “We’re completing this Ride of Respect in order to demonstrate that our friends are not forgotten and I feel that it is important that we honour the families who continue to live with the loss of their sons.

“I’m amazed by the turnout. Some of the grave sites are not well looked after and one grave we visited there was no-one there.

“I want to raise awareness of the fallen and demonstrate that they are not forgotten.

Alex Shaw of Corby  was killed at the Battle of Mount Longdon on June 13, 1982. He served with  3 Para.

Alex Shaw of Corby was killed at the Battle of Mount Longdon on June 13, 1982. He served with 3 Para.

“It is also to thank the staff of the South Atlantic Medal Association for the tireless work they do in supporting the veterans of that war.”

Gareth Price, chairman of the Corby branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “It’s amazing what these guys are doing. It’s keeping these memories alive.

“Alex made the ultimate sacrifice and we feel a sense of pride mixed with sadness, but as we always say ‘we will remember them’.”

Susan added: “I’m really touched and amazed that so many people came today.

“My children and my grandchildren have always known about their uncle and see him very much as part of the family.

“Above all Alex was a very special brother who was my hero before he went to the Falklands.”

The members of 3 Para killed in the Battle of Mount Longdon were: Stewart Laing, Phillip West, James (Doc) Murdoch, Anthony Greenwood, Stewart McLaughlin, Mark Dodsworth, Alex Shaw, Gerald Bull, Timothy Jenkins, Keith McCarthy, Peter Higgs, Neil Grose, Jason Burt, Jonathon Crow, Peter Heddicker, Ian McKay VC, David Scott, Ian Scrivens, Richard Absolon, Stephen Hope, Craig Jones and Christopher Lovett.

Hoping to raise £1,000, the Ride of Respect Just Giving site has already been pledged £2,263.56.

To donate please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/airborneriders3parafallen