More than a hundred people gathered in the centre of Grantham yesterday to see a bench unveiled in honour of a soldier who was killed 27 years ago.
Alongside the family and friends of Nick Peacock, the 20-year-old soldier who died after walking past a drainpipe bomb in Belfast in 1989, were many fellow members of the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as ‘The Poachers’, who travelled from far and wide to pay their respects.
They were joined by many members of the public who had been moved by Nick’s story, and how his childhood friend Glenn Wormall had called on the help of local businesses to create a striking seat in tribute to the young soldier who grew up in Grantham.
“To see so many people here for Nick today, it is very emotional,” said his mother Veronica, holding back tears. “I want to say thank you to everyone involved.”
Regardless of the 27 years that have passed, the family have remained in touch with both ‘The Poachers’ and Glenn, whose son Shaun went on to join the regiment himself, and took part in the unveiling alongside Nick’s comrade Nick King.
The sunlit ceremony took place at noon, with the bench revealed from under a Union Jack flag and regimental colours. Those who had served with Nick then gathered by the commemorative seat, and shared their memories of Nick and his time in the army.
Also in attendance were the businessmen who worked together to craft the beautiful bench free of charge - Alan Hardisty of Pentangle Fabrications, Kevin Mascot of Mascot Powder Coating, Roll and Scroll’s Chris Kennedy, Nigel Rivers of Pentangle Engineering and Carl Gilbert of Arraquip.
A collection for The Royal Anglian Regiment Benevolent Charity also saw £230 raised at the event.
After the ceremony, Glenn said: “I was absolutely delighted with the turnout - it couldn’t have gone much better, and I would like to thank everyone that turned up.
“I would also like to thank the team that helped this day happen, and turned a dream into a reality - Alan Hardisty, Nigel Rivers, Chris Kennedy, Carl Gilbert, Kevin Mascot, as well as Mike Smith and Paul Stokes of SKDC, Nick King, my son Shaun, the Sergeant Major Rawdon and Lance Corporal Sunman. Also Graham Chapman, one of Nick’s colleagues who served with him in Northern Ireland, did the speech for me, as I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
“It was a brilliant turnout for someone who much deserves his place on St Peter’s Hill.”
The bench’s installation in the very centre of St Peter’s Hill, next to Sir Isaac Newton’s statue, was made possible after Glenn approached South Kesteven District Council. A spokesman for SKDC said: “The council were pleased to help the group locate a prominent public position for the seat to acknowledge the sentiments of Mr Peacock’s family and friends, and the wider Grantham and military community.”