What we know about the soldiers who carried Queen Elizabeth II's coffin

by 24britishtvSept. 20, 2022, 2:20 p.m. 18
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The guardsmen who carried the Queen’s coffin during Monday’s state funeral have won worldwide acclaim for their dignified composure while the eyes of the world were on them.

Eight troops from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, bore the oak casket, draped in the Royal Standard, in London and Windsor.

An officer was positioned at the rear of the bearer party while a 10th member of the unit marched before Her Majesty’s lead-lined coffin, which weighed more than 500lb (227kg).

As commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, the Queen had strong links to the Grenadier Guards, the British Army’s most senior infantry regiment.

Wearing their distinctive scarlet tunics and black bearskins, they carry out high-profile ceremonial duties in London and at Windsor Castle.

They traditionally provide the pallbearers at state funerals for all monarchs.

On the day of the Queen’s death, the unit had been deployed on operations in Iraq, where they are training local forces to improve their fighting capability to counter Islamic State, but at least five of the bearer party returned the day after the Queen’s death to take part in the ceremonial events.

The British Army said the Grenadier Guards’ “very best soldiers” had been chosen for the honour.

“It is the Queen’s Company who oversee the transition from one monarch to the next and undertake the exceptional role of guarding Her Majesty’s body in death too; for they have the honour of watching over her prior to the public lying-in-state,” it said.

“Their 12 very best soldiers will have been selected to provide the bearer party at Her Majesty’s funeral.”

Who were the soldiers?

Second Lieutenant Hobbs, 24, from West Sussex, was the Officer Commanding the bearer party. He is 24 and from West Sussex.

He was positioned at the rear of the bearer party, from where he issued words of command.

He had returned from deployment in Iraq. The son of a former Grenadier Guards officer, he led the regiment’s detachment at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant this year.

He joined the regular Army in January 2021, after being part of Bristol University Officer Training Corps.

Company Sergeant Major Jones, from Long Eaton, Derbyshire, has been in the Army for 19 years.

The married father of one, who has served in the unit his whole working life, walked in front of the Queen’s coffin.

A warrant officer, he met the Queen several times, including when she presented new colours to the company, and completed two tours of Afghanistan and two in Iraq.

He is returning to operational duties straight after the funeral.

The 19-year-old from Jersey, was one of the two soldiers holding the back of the coffin during the funeral and the procession of the Queen’s casket from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall before her lying-in-state.

As a student of Grainville School in Jersey, he was part of the school’s Army Cadet Force.

In 2018, he was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s medal, the highest honour a Jersey cadet can be given.

He left the Channel island when he was 16 to attend a military training college in the UK.

Laura Therin, a staff sergeant with Jersey’s Army Cadet Force, said they were “incredibly proud”

She told ITV: “’I’ve known Fletcher since he first started with the cadets. He always was a very organised young man who lived and breathed cadets.”

One of the eight pallbearers that carried the Queen’s coffin was Luke Simpson, from Selston, Nottinghamshire.

Lee Anderson, Conservative MP for Ashfield, praised Luke and another local man who was serving along the route.

In a Facebook post, he said: “Ashfield Lads. Luke and Aaron doing their duty and making their families and the whole of Ashfield feel incredibly proud. Serving Queen and country.”

In a Facebook post. Selston Football Club said: “Respect to you Luke Simpson, flawless under pressure with the whole world watching on.

“You have done your country, village, family and friends proud!”

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